Tax Lien Lawyers in Santa Cruz
In Santa Cruz, 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 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 Santa Cruz, California.
Of course, a tax lien in Santa Cruz, 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. Nonetheless, 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 Cruz, California
In Santa Cruz, California, the process for creating a tax lien is fairly uncomplicated. First, the tax authorities decide 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 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 Santa Cruz, 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.
How Can a Santa Cruz, 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 confusing, quite quickly.
Luckily, Santa Cruz, California tax attorneys can help. If you are facing the prospect of a tax lien, you should not hesitate to seek skilled legal advice, to ensure that your legal rights are protected.