Tax Liens in Gulf Shores, Alabama
In Gulf Shores, 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 funds 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 Gulf Shores, Alabama tax authorities, to collect taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, a tax lien in Gulf Shores, 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. Nonetheless, a tax lien can be applied to property that the taxpayer gains after the lien goes into effect.
Tax Lien Procedure in Gulf Shores, Alabama
The actual process of setting up a Gulf Shores, Alabama tax lien is usually pretty simple. The agency responsible for collecting taxes must first decide that a tax lien is warranted, usually by finding that the debtor owes a significant amount of back taxes.
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 certain period of time (usually 10 days) to pay what they owe.
If the back taxes are not paid before the deadline is up, the lien will usually take effect immediately, with no further action by the IRS or Alabama tax agency, giving them all the rights in your property that the law allows.
But, these rights are limited. In Gulf Shores, 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." Also, it acknowledges the fact that any encumbrance on a piece of property, such as a lien, makes the property less valuable. By guaranteeing that the lien will either be satisfied or expire within 10 years, this prevents property from being withheld from the stream of commerce forever.
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How Can a Gulf Shores, 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.
Therefore, it's important that you hire a tax attorney in Gulf Shores, Alabama to ensure that whatever legal rights you have in this situation are defended. Your attorney will also be able to advise you on how to best deal with the situation.