Tax Liens in Fresno County, California
In Fresno County, California, 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.
A "tax lien," then, is a lien held by the government to collect a tax-related debt from a private entity, such as a citizen or corporation in Fresno County, California.
Tax liens in Fresno County, California are ineffective if the taxpayer doesn't have any property to place the lien on. However, basically any property, including that which the taxpayer acquires after the lien goes into effect, can be affected by a tax lien.
Tax Lien Procedure in Fresno County, California
Imposing a tax lien in Fresno County, California 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.
At this point, they will send the taxpayer a written notice stating that they owe a some amount of money in back taxes, and that they have a small window of time (commonly 10 days or less) to pay it.
If this 10-day period expires without payment, the tax lien arises automatically. Once this happens, the tax authorities in California have all the options in the taxpayer's property that any other lien holder would have, containing priority over competing creditors.
But, these rights are limited. In Fresno County, 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." 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 Fresno County, 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 difficult, extremely quickly.
Therefore, it's important that you retain a tax attorney in Fresno County, 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.