Tax Liens in Center Point, Alabama
In Center Point, Alabama, a "lien" is a security interest placed on a piece of property, normally land or a house, to secure the payment of a debt. It typically 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 Center Point, Alabama tax authorities, to compile taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, a tax lien in Center Point, 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 Center Point, Alabama
Imposing a tax lien in Center Point, Alabama is usually an uncomplicated process. Typically, 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.
At this point, they will send the taxpayer a written notice stating that they owe a some amount of money in back taxes, and that they have a small window of time (commonly 10 days or less) to pay it.
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, there are limits to how and when a tax lien can be enforced, at least under federal law. The IRS has 10 years to enforce a tax lien in Center Point, Alabama or anywhere else in the U.S. If it never bothers to take action to seize property that's subject to a tax lien, the lien simply ceases to exist after 10 years. This rule is in place to ensure that the government does not sit on its rights, and to prevent potentially-valuable property from being encumbered indefinitely. Basically, it creates a measure of certainty for both parties.
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How Can a Center Point, Alabama Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a tax lien in Alabama, you are going to have to wade through some substantial and difficult legal contentions.
Therefore, 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 obtain the advice of a brilliant tax lawyer in Center Point, Alabama as soon as you can.