Tax Liens in Helena, Alabama
In Helena, 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 Helena, Alabama tax authorities, to gather taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, a tax lien in Helena, 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 Helena, Alabama
The actual process of setting up a Helena, Alabama tax lien is typically pretty simple. The agency responsible for collecting taxes must first determine that a tax lien is warranted, typically 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 given period of time (typically 10 days) to pay what they owe.
If the deadline passes without payment, most tax liens in Alabama take effect automatically, giving the tax collectors all of the rights in your property that any other lien holder would have.
However, if the federal government does not seek to enforce a tax lien in Helena, Alabama within 10 years of imposing it, federal law dictates that the lien automatically expires. This is effectively a statute of limitations on a tax lien, meant to encourage the federal government to collect its taxes in a reasonable period of time, and ensure that property is not encumbered by a lien forever.
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How Can a Helena, Alabama Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you end up having a tax lien imposed on your property in Alabama, you will probably have to deal with some fairly challenging legal issues, which might be confusing to a layperson.
Thus, 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 pursue the advice of a knowledgeable tax lawyer in Helena, Alabama as soon as you can.