Tax Lien Lawyers in Stockton
In Stockton, 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 Stockton, California.
Of course, a tax lien in Stockton, 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 Stockton, California
The actual process of setting up a Stockton, 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.
Then, the IRS, or state tax authorities, send a "notice and demand," informing the taxpayer that they owe back taxes, and that they are obligated to pay their taxes within 10 days.
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, there are limits to how and when a tax lien can be enforced, at least under federal law. The IRS has 10 years to enforce a tax lien in Stockton, California or anywhere else in the U.S. If it never bothers to take action to seize property that's subject to a tax lien, the lien simply ceases to exist after 10 years. This rule is in place to ensure that the government does not sit on its rights, and to keep potentially-valuable property from being encumbered forever. Essentially, it creates a measure of certainty for both parties.
How Can a Stockton, 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 perplexing, very quickly.
Therefore, it's important that you hire a tax attorney in Stockton, 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.