Tax Liens in Jacksonville, Alabama
In Jacksonville, 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 Jacksonville, Alabama tax authorities, to compile taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, a tax lien in Jacksonville, 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 Jacksonville, Alabama
The actual process of setting up a Jacksonville, Alabama tax lien is normally pretty simple. The agency responsible for collecting taxes must first determine that a tax lien is warranted, normally 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 determined that they owe back taxes, and that they have a short period of time (normally 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 rights in the taxpayer's property that any other lien holder would have, including priority over competing creditors.
But, under federal law, there are limits to how tax liens can be enforced in Jacksonville, Alabama, and elsewhere. Typically, 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 Jacksonville, 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 hard legal issues, which might be complex to a layperson.
Fortunately for you, tax lawyers in Jacksonville, Alabama are experts at dealing with matters such as these, and can make sure your rights are protected, and advise you on the best way to proceed, if you are facing the prospect of a tax lien.