Tax Liens in Bay Minette, Alabama
In Bay Minette, 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 Bay Minette, Alabama tax authorities, to gather taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, a tax lien in Bay Minette, 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 Bay Minette, Alabama
Imposing a tax lien in Bay Minette, Alabama is normally an uncomplicated process. Usually, the tax authorities simply have to make a decision that the taxpayer is delinquent in their taxes, and that imposing and enforcing a tax lien will actually be worth the effort.
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 back taxes are not paid before the deadline is up, the lien will typically 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 permits.
But, these rights are limited. In Bay Minette, 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 Bay Minette, Alabama Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you are notified by the government that you owe back taxes in Alabama, and that they are going to pursue a tax lien to collect their money, things can get very confusing, quite quickly.
Therefore, it's important that you contact a tax attorney in Bay Minette, 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.