Tax Liens in Alabaster, Alabama
In Alabaster, Alabama, a "lien" is a security interest placed on a piece of property, usually land or a house, to secure the payment of a debt. It generally gives a creditor the right to take ownership of any equity that exists in the property, to secure the payment of the debt. If the owner sells the property, the creditor may also be entitled to the proceeds of the sale, up to the amount owed. It can also give the holder of the lien a higher priority status, giving them an advantage over competing creditors, if the debtor files bankruptcy.
As you might have gathered, a "tax lien" is simply a lien placed on property by the IRS or Alabaster, Alabama tax authorities, to collect taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, a tax lien in Alabaster, Alabama will be ineffective if the debtor doesn't own any valuable property to encumber with a lien. As with any debt, the creditor can't collect if the debtor doesn't have any assets. However, a tax lien can be applied to property that the taxpayer acquires after the lien goes into effect.
Tax Lien Procedure in Alabaster, Alabama
Imposing a tax lien in Alabaster, Alabama is typically an uncomplicated process. Generally, the tax authorities simply have to make a determination that the taxpayer is delinquent in their taxes, and that imposing and enforcing a tax lien will actually be worth the effort.
Then, the IRS, or state tax authorities, send a "notice and demand," informing the taxpayer that they owe back taxes, and that they are required to pay their taxes within 10 days.
If that time period expires, and the debtor still hasn't paid, the Alabama tax lien will go into effect automatically, with no further action required.
But, these rights are limited. In Alabaster, Alabama, and everywhere else in the United States, the IRS has 10 years to enforce a tax lien. If they do nothing about it within 10 years, the lien expires. This rule exists for a few reasons. First, it encourages the IRS to act as quickly and efficiently as possible, and not "sit on its rights." Furthermore, it acknowledges the fact that any encumbrance on a piece of property, such as a lien, makes the property less valuable. By ensuring that the lien will either be satisfied or expire within 10 years, this prevents property from being withheld from the stream of commerce indefinitely.
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How Can a Alabaster, Alabama Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you receive notice from the federal government, or the government of Alabama that a tax lien has been imposed on your property, some pretty complicated legal issues are necessarily involved.
So, it should go without saying that if you are facing the prospect of your home or vehicle being slapped with a tax lien, you need to seek the advice of a good tax lawyer in Alabaster, Alabama as soon as you can.