Tax Liens in Goleta, California
In Goleta, 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 proceeds 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 person or corporation in Goleta, California.
Tax liens in Goleta, California are ineffective if the taxpayer doesn't have any property to place the lien on. However, virtually any property, including that which the taxpayer obtains after the lien goes into effect, can be affected by a tax lien.
Tax Lien Procedure in Goleta, California
Imposing a tax lien in Goleta, California is typically an uncomplicated process. Generally, the tax authorities simply have to make a determination 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 certain amount of money in back taxes, and that they have a small window of time (often 10 days or less) to pay it.
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.
However, 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 Goleta, California 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 prevent potentially-valuable property from being encumbered indefinitely. Basically, it creates a measure of certainty for both parties.
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How Can a Goleta, California Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you end up having a tax lien imposed on your property in California, you will probably have to deal with some fairly difficult legal issues, which might be confusing to a layperson.
So, 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 seek the advice of a good tax lawyer in Goleta, California as soon as you can.