Tax Liens in Atascadero, California
In Atascadero, California, a "lien" is a security interest placed on a piece of property, usually land or a house, to secure the payment of a debt. It generally 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 Atascadero, California tax authorities, to collect 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 significant property on which a lien can be imposed. To get around this limitation, most tax liens in Atascadero, California apply to after-acquired property (property acquired after the lien was created). Most other liens only apply to specific pieces of property, or property that the debtor owned at the time the lien went into effect.
Tax Lien Procedure in Atascadero, California
Imposing a tax lien in Atascadero, California is typically an uncomplicated process. Generally, 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.
At this point, the taxpayer will receive a letter containing a "notice and demand," which, as the name suggests, gives notice that the recipient owes taxes, and demands quick payment. It will usually give the taxpayer about 10 days to pay the demanded amount.
If this deadline expires, and the debtor does not pay the taxes they owe, the lien will take effect automatically. When this occurs, the IRS or California tax agency will have significant rights against the taxpayer's property.
But, these rights are limited. In Atascadero, California, 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." Additionally, 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 Atascadero, California Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If the federal government, or the government of California informs you that they intend to place a tax lien on your property, you will likely face some pretty perplexing and daunting legal issues.
Therefore, it's important that you hire a tax attorney in Atascadero, California 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.