Tax Lien Lawyers in Wilmette
In Wilmette, Illinois, a "lien" is a type of property right, which is created by a court to obtain payment of a lawful debt. Usually, a valid lien gives its holder the right to seize the property subject to it, or at least some of the property's equity, to satisfy the debt. If the owner sells a piece of property that's subject to a lien, the creditor who owns the lien may be entitled to the proceeds, up to the amount you owe them. It can additionally put them "first in line" compared to other creditors, if the debtor files for bankruptcy.
A "tax lien" is simply a lien placed on a piece of property by the state or local government, to secure the payment of back taxes. A tax lien in Wilmette, Illinois can arise to secure the payment of any federal or state tax, including income tax, estate tax, or gift tax.
Of course, a tax lien in Wilmette, Illinois 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 Wilmette, Illinois
The process of imposing a tax lien on property in Wilmette, Illinois is typically fairly simple. The first step is for the IRS or local tax agency to determine that a person truly owes back taxes, and that it is worth the effort to impose a lien.
They will then mail a document called a "notice and demand," which lets the taxpayer know that they owe money on their taxes, and that they have a given period of time (typically 10 days) to pay what they owe.
If the deadline passes without payment, most tax liens in Illinois take effect automatically, giving the tax collectors all of the rights in your property that any other lien holder would have.
However, 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 Wilmette, Illinois 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 prevent potentially-valuable property from being encumbered indefinitely. Basically, it creates a measure of certainty for both parties.
How Can a Wilmette, Illinois Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you end up having a tax lien imposed on your property in Illinois, you will probably have to deal with some fairly challenging legal issues, which might be complex to a layperson.
Thankfully for you, tax lawyers in Wilmette, Illinois are experts at dealing with matters such as these, and can make sure your rights are protected, and advise you on the best way to proceed, if you are facing the prospect of a tax lien.