Tax Liens in Fairhope, Alabama
In Fairhope, 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 Fairhope, Alabama tax authorities, to gather taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, a tax lien in Fairhope, 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 Fairhope, Alabama
The actual process of setting up a Fairhope, 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 IRS, or state tax authorities, send a "notice and demand," informing the taxpayer that they owe back taxes, and that they are obligated to pay their taxes within 10 days.
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 Fairhope, 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 Fairhope, 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 complicated to a layperson.
Therefore, if you think that any piece of property you own might become subject to a tax lien in Fairhope, Alabama, you should not delay to seek the advice of a skilled tax attorney immediately.