Tax Liens in Lincoln, Alabama
In Lincoln, 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 Lincoln, Alabama tax authorities, to gather taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, a tax lien in Lincoln, 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 Lincoln, Alabama
The actual process of setting up a Lincoln, 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.
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 (typically 10 days) to pay them without incurring a penalty.
If this deadline expires, and the debtor does not pay the taxes they owe, the lien will take effect automatically. When this results, the IRS or Alabama tax agency will have substantial rights against the taxpayer's property.
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 Lincoln, 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 Lincoln, Alabama Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a tax lien in Alabama, you are going to have to wade through some substantial and confusing legal concerns.
Accordingly, if you think that any piece of property you own might become subject to a tax lien in Lincoln, Alabama, you should not hesitate to seek the advice of a skilled tax attorney immediately.