Tax Liens in Lafayette, California
In Lafayette, 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.
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 Lafayette, California.
Tax liens in Lafayette, 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 Lafayette, California
The actual process of setting up a Lafayette, California tax lien is usually pretty simple. The agency responsible for collecting taxes must first decide that a tax lien is warranted, usually by finding that the debtor owes a significant amount of back taxes.
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 the deadline passes without payment, most tax liens in California take effect automatically, giving the tax collectors all of the options in your property that any other lien holder would have.
Nonetheless, if the federal government does not seek to enforce a tax lien in Lafayette, California within 10 years of imposing it, federal law dictates that the lien automatically expires. This is effectively a statute of limitations on a tax lien, meant to encourage the federal government to collect its taxes in a reasonable period of time, and guarantee that property is not encumbered by a lien forever.
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How Can a Lafayette, 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 Lafayette, 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.