Tax Lien Lawyers in Johnstown
A "lien" in Johnstown, New York is a property right that a person or entity has in property owned by someone else, created by law, for the purpose of enforcing a debt. A lien gives its holder various rights in the property of another person, including the right to seize the proceeds of a sale of the property, and, if the debtor files for bankruptcy, the right to go to the front of the line among other creditors, making it more possible that the lien holder will collect something.
In Johnstown, New York, a "tax lien" is simply a lien imposed by the government to gather 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 substantial property on which a lien can be imposed. To get around this limitation, most tax liens in Johnstown, New York apply to after-acquired property (property acquired after the lien was created). Most other liens only apply to particular pieces of property, or property that the debtor owned at the time the lien went into effect.
Tax Lien Procedure in Johnstown, New York
The process of imposing a tax lien on property in Johnstown, New York is typically fairly simple. The initial step is for the IRS or local tax agency to decide that a person truly owes back taxes, and that it is worth the effort to impose a lien.
Then, the taxpayer is sent a letter with a "notice and demand," which informs the taxpayer that the IRS has decided that they owe back taxes, and that they have a short period of time (typically 10 days) to pay them without incurring a penalty.
If this 10-day period expires without payment, the tax lien arises automatically. Once this happens, the tax authorities in New York have all the options in the taxpayer's property that any other lien holder would have, containing priority over competing creditors.
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 Johnstown, New York 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 Johnstown, New York Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you end up having a tax lien imposed on your property in New York, you will probably have to deal with some fairly challenging legal issues, which might be intricate to a layperson.
Thus, 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 pursue the advice of a reliable tax lawyer in Johnstown, New York as soon as you can.