Tax Lien Lawyers in Berkeley
In Berkeley, California, 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 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 Berkeley, California tax authorities, to gather 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 substantial property on which a lien can be imposed. To get around this limitation, most tax liens in Berkeley, California apply to after-acquired property (property acquired after the lien was created). Most other liens only apply to particular pieces of property, or property that the debtor owned at the time the lien went into effect.
Tax Lien Procedure in Berkeley, California
Imposing a tax lien in Berkeley, California is normally an uncomplicated process. Usually, 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 typically give the taxpayer about 10 days to pay the demanded amount.
If that time period expires, and the debtor still hasn't paid, the California tax lien will go into effect automatically, with no additional action required.
But, these rights are limited. In Berkeley, 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.
How Can a Berkeley, California Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you are notified by the government that you owe back taxes in California, and that they are going to pursue a tax lien to collect their money, things can get very confusing, quite quickly.
Therefore, it's important that you contact a tax attorney in Berkeley, 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.