Tax Liens in West Helena, Arkansas
In West Helena, Arkansas, 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 West Helena, Arkansas tax authorities, to compile taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
However, like any other debt-collection method, a tax lien is worthless if the debtor has no considerable property on which a lien can be imposed. To get around this limitation, most tax liens in West Helena, Arkansas apply to after-acquired property (property acquired after the lien was created). Most other liens only apply to certain pieces of property, or property that the debtor owned at the time the lien went into effect.
Tax Lien Procedure in West Helena, Arkansas
The process of imposing a tax lien on property in West Helena, Arkansas 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 the deadline passes without payment, most tax liens in Arkansas take effect automatically, giving the tax collectors all of the options in your property that any other lien holder would have.
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 West Helena, Arkansas 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 West Helena, Arkansas Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you receive notice from the federal government, or the government of Arkansas that a tax lien has been imposed on your property, some pretty complex legal issues are necessarily involved.
Therefore, it should go without saying that if you are facing the prospect of your home or vehicle being slapped with a tax lien, you need to obtain the advice of a seasoned tax lawyer in West Helena, Arkansas as soon as you can.