Tax Liens in Athens, Alabama
In Athens, Alabama, a "lien" is a security interest placed on a piece of property, typically land or a house, to secure the payment of a debt. It usually 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 Athens, Alabama tax authorities, to gather taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, a tax lien in Athens, 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 Athens, Alabama
Imposing a tax lien in Athens, Alabama is normally an uncomplicated process. Usually, 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.
They will then mail a document called a "notice and demand," which lets the taxpayer know that they owe money on their taxes, and that they have a given period of time (typically 10 days) to pay what they owe.
If this 10-day period expires without payment, the tax lien arises automatically. Once this happens, the tax authorities in Alabama have all the rights in the taxpayer's property that any other lien holder would have, including priority over competing creditors.
However, in Athens, Alabama, and anywhere else in America, a tax lien only lasts for 10 years, and then it automatically expires. If the IRS fails to exercise the substantial rights that it has under a tax lien within that period of time, it is assumed that they never intend to do so, and the lien will cease to exist. This ensures that valuable property is only kept out of the economy for a narrow period of time.
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How Can a Athens, Alabama Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If the federal government, or the government of Alabama informs you that they intend to place a tax lien on your property, you will likely face some pretty intricate and daunting legal issues.
Thankfully for you, tax lawyers in Athens, Alabama are experts at dealing with matters such as these, and can make sure your rights are protected, and advise you on the best way to proceed, if you are facing the prospect of a tax lien.