Tax Lien Lawyers in Watsonville
In Watsonville, 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 Watsonville, California.
Of course, a tax lien in Watsonville, 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 Watsonville, California
The actual process of setting up a Watsonville, California tax lien is typically pretty simple. The agency responsible for collecting taxes must first determine that a tax lien is warranted, typically 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 typically give the taxpayer about 10 days to pay the demanded amount.
If this deadline expires, and the debtor does not pay the taxes they owe, the lien will take effect automatically. When this results, the IRS or California tax agency will have substantial rights against the taxpayer's property.
But, these rights are limited. In Watsonville, 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." Second, 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 Watsonville, California Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you receive notice from the federal government, or the government of California that a tax lien has been imposed on your property, some pretty intricate legal issues are necessarily involved.
Accordingly, it's important that you contact a tax attorney in Watsonville, 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.