Tax Liens in Prescott, Arizona
In Prescott, Arizona, 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 Prescott, Arizona 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 Prescott, Arizona 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 Prescott, Arizona
Imposing a tax lien in Prescott, Arizona is usually an uncomplicated process. Typically, the tax authorities simply have to make a decision that the taxpayer is delinquent in their taxes, and that imposing and enforcing a tax lien will actually be worth the effort.
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 normally take effect immediately, with no further action by the IRS or Arizona tax agency, giving them all the rights in your property that the law authorizes.
But, these rights are limited. In Prescott, Arizona, 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 Prescott, Arizona Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you receive notice from the federal government, or the government of Arizona that a tax lien has been imposed on your property, some pretty complex legal issues are necessarily involved.
Thankfully, Prescott, Arizona tax attorneys can help. If you are facing the prospect of a tax lien, you should not hesitate to seek qualified legal advice, to ensure that your legal rights are protected.