Tax Lien Lawyers in Winthrop
In Winthrop, Maine, a "lien" is a type of property right, which is created by a court to acquire 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.
In Winthrop, Maine, a "tax lien" is simply a lien imposed by the government to collect back taxes from a citizen or corporation, when other methods for collecting have failed.
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 Winthrop, Maine apply to after-acquired property (property acquired 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 Winthrop, Maine
In Winthrop, Maine, 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).
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 that time period expires, and the debtor still hasn't paid, the Maine tax lien will go into effect automatically, with no additional action required.
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 Winthrop, Maine 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 Winthrop, Maine Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a tax lien in Maine, you are going to have to wade through some substantial and perplexing legal issues.
So, it should go without saying that if you are facing the prospect of your home or vehicle being slapped with a tax lien, you need to seek the advice of a reputable tax lawyer in Winthrop, Maine as soon as you can.