Tax Liens in Lake Forest, California
In Lake Forest, 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 Lake Forest, California.
Tax liens in Lake Forest, 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 Lake Forest, California
The actual process of setting up a Lake Forest, California tax lien is usually pretty simple. The agency responsible for collecting taxes must first determine 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 immediate 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 rights in your property that any other lien holder would have.
But, under federal law, there are limits to how tax liens can be enforced in Lake Forest, California, and elsewhere. Generally, the IRS has 10 years to try and enforce a tax lien. If no effort is made to enforce a tax lien for 10 years, the lien is automatically lifted, and the lien holder loses all rights in it. This rule exists to ensure that the government collects its taxes in a reasonable time period, and it prevents valuable property (which could otherwise be contributing to the economy by being bought and sold) is not laded with a lien for an indefinite period of time.
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How Can a Lake Forest, 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 complicated and daunting legal issues.
Accordingly, it's important that you hire a tax attorney in Lake Forest, California to ensure that whatever legal rights you have in this situation are protected. Your attorney will also be able to advise you on how to best deal with the situation.