Tax Lien Lawyers in Lake Charles
In Lake Charles, Louisiana, a "lien" is a type of property right, which is created by a court to obtain payment of a lawful debt. Generally, 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 also put them "first in line" compared to other creditors, if the debtor files for 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 Lake Charles, Louisiana.
However, like any other debt-collection method, a tax lien is worthless if the debtor has no significant property on which a lien can be imposed. To get around this limitation, most tax liens in Lake Charles, Louisiana apply to after-acquired property (property obtained after the lien was created). Most other liens only apply to specific pieces of property, or property that the debtor owned at the time the lien went into effect.
Tax Lien Procedure in Lake Charles, Louisiana
In Lake Charles, Louisiana, the process for creating a tax lien is fairly uncomplicated. First, the tax authorities determine that a taxpayer actually owes taxes that they haven't paid (that they're delinquent in their taxes).
Then, the taxpayer is sent a letter with a "notice and demand," which informs the taxpayer that the IRS has determined that they owe back taxes, and that they have a short period of time (usually 10 days) to pay them without incurring a penalty.
If that time period expires, and the debtor still hasn't paid, the Louisiana tax lien will go into effect automatically, with no further action required.
However, if the federal government does not seek to enforce a tax lien in Lake Charles, Louisiana 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 ensure that property is not encumbered by a lien forever.
How Can a Lake Charles, Louisiana Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If the federal government, or the government of Louisiana informs you that they intend to place a tax lien on your property, you will likely face some pretty complicated and daunting legal issues.
Accordingly, it's important that you hire a tax attorney in Lake Charles, Louisiana 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.