Tax Lien Lawyers in Santa Maria
In Santa Maria, 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 Santa Maria, California.
Of course, a tax lien in Santa Maria, 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. Obviously, this makes it quite a bit easier for the government to collect its taxes.
Tax Lien Procedure in Santa Maria, California
In Santa Maria, California, the process for creating a tax lien is fairly uncomplicated. First, the tax authorities decide that a taxpayer actually 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 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 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 Maria, 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 Maria, 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.
Luckily for you, tax lawyers in Santa Maria, California are experts at dealing with matters such as these, and can make sure your rights are safeguarded, and advise you on the best way to proceed, if you are facing the prospect of a tax lien.