Tax Liens in Gardendale, Alabama
In Gardendale, 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 Gardendale, Alabama tax authorities, to gather taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, a tax lien in Gardendale, 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 Gardendale, Alabama
The actual process of setting up a Gardendale, 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 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.
However, there are limits to how and when a tax lien can be enforced, at least under federal law. The IRS has 10 years to enforce a tax lien in Gardendale, Alabama or anywhere else in the U.S. If it never bothers to take action to seize property that's subject to a tax lien, the lien simply ceases to exist after 10 years. This rule is in place to ensure that the government does not sit on its rights, and to prevent potentially-valuable property from being encumbered indefinitely. Basically, it creates a measure of certainty for both parties.
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How Can a Gardendale, 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 intricate, quite quickly.
Thankfully for you, tax lawyers in Gardendale, 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.