Tax Liens in Columbiana, Alabama
In Columbiana, 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 Columbiana, Alabama tax authorities, to gather taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, a tax lien in Columbiana, 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 Columbiana, Alabama
Imposing a tax lien in Columbiana, 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.
At this point, they will send the taxpayer a written notice stating that they owe a particular amount of money in back taxes, and that they have a small window of time (frequently 10 days or less) to pay it.
If this deadline expires, and the debtor does not pay the taxes they owe, the lien will take effect automatically. When this results, the IRS or Alabama tax agency will have substantial rights against the taxpayer's property.
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 Columbiana, 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 Columbiana, 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 confusing legal concerns.
Accordingly, it's important that you contact a tax attorney in Columbiana, Alabama to ensure that whatever legal rights you have in this situation are protected. Your attorney will also be able to advise you on how to best deal with the situation.