Tax Lien Lawyers in Santa Barbara County
In Santa Barbara County, 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 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 Santa Barbara County, California.
Of course, a tax lien in Santa Barbara County, California isn't worth much more than the paper it's printed on if the debtor doesn't own any property of value, on which a lien could be placed. However, a tax lien applies to property that the taxpayer obtains even after the lien is created. Apparently, this makes it quite a bit easier for the government to collect its taxes.
Tax Lien Procedure in Santa Barbara County, California
In Santa Barbara County, California, the process for creating a tax lien is fairly uncomplicated. First, the tax authorities determine that a taxpayer truly owes taxes that they haven't paid (that they're delinquent in their taxes).
At this point, they will send the taxpayer a written notice stating that they owe a particular amount of money in back taxes, and that they have a small window of time (frequently 10 days or less) to pay it.
If the back taxes are not paid before the deadline is up, the lien will typically take effect immediately, with no further action by the IRS or California tax agency, giving them all the rights in your property that the law permits.
But, these rights are limited. In Santa Barbara 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." Furthermore, it acknowledges the fact that any encumbrance on a piece of property, such as a lien, makes the property less valuable. By ensuring that the lien will either be satisfied or expire within 10 years, this prevents property from being withheld from the stream of commerce indefinitely.
How Can a Santa Barbara 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 intricate, quite quickly.
Accordingly, it's important that you contact a tax attorney in Santa Barbara County, 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.