Tax Liens in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
In Tuscaloosa, 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 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 Tuscaloosa, Alabama tax authorities, to compile taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
Of course, a tax lien in Tuscaloosa, Alabama isn't worth much more than the paper it's printed on if the debtor doesn't own any property of value, on which a lien could be placed. Nonetheless, a tax lien applies to property that the taxpayer obtains even after the lien is created. Evidently, this makes it quite a bit easier for the government to collect its taxes.
Tax Lien Procedure in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
The process of imposing a tax lien on property in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is normally fairly simple. The initial step is for the IRS or local tax agency to decide that a person really owes back taxes, and that it is worth the effort to impose a lien.
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 this deadline expires, and the debtor does not pay the taxes they owe, the lien will take effect automatically. When this happens, the IRS or Alabama tax agency will have considerable rights against the taxpayer's property.
Nonetheless, 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 Tuscaloosa, 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 keep potentially-valuable property from being encumbered forever. Essentially, it creates a measure of certainty for both parties.
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How Can a Tuscaloosa, Alabama Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you receive notice from the federal government, or the government of Alabama that a tax lien has been imposed on your property, some pretty complex legal issues are necessarily involved.
Therefore, it's important that you retain a tax attorney in Tuscaloosa, 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.