Tax Liens in Irondale, Alabama
In Irondale, 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 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 Irondale, Alabama tax authorities, to gather taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, a tax lien in Irondale, 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 Irondale, Alabama
The actual process of setting up a Irondale, Alabama tax lien is typically pretty simple. The agency responsible for collecting taxes must first decide that a tax lien is warranted, typically by finding that the debtor owes a significant amount of back taxes.
Then, the taxpayer is sent a letter with a "notice and demand," which informs the taxpayer that the IRS has decided that they owe back taxes, and that they have a short period of time (typically 10 days) to pay them without incurring a penalty.
If this 10-day period expires without payment, the tax lien arises automatically. Once this happens, the tax authorities in Alabama have all the options in the taxpayer's property that any other lien holder would have, containing priority over competing creditors.
But, under federal law, there are limits to how tax liens can be enforced in Irondale, Alabama, and elsewhere. Usually, the IRS has 10 years to try and enforce a tax lien. If no effort is made to enforce a tax lien for 10 years, the lien is automatically lifted, and the lien holder loses all rights in it. This rule exists to ensure that the government collects its taxes in a reasonable time period, and it prevents valuable property (which could otherwise be contributing to the economy by being bought and sold) is not laded with a lien for an indefinite period of time.
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How Can a Irondale, 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 confusing and daunting legal issues.
Therefore, it's important that you contact a tax attorney in Irondale, 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.