Tax Lien Lawyers in Middletown
In Middletown, Rhode Island, a "lien" is defined as a property right that's granted to a creditor against a piece of property owned by a debtor, for the purpose of collecting on the debt if the debtor is unwilling or unable to pay. A lien permits its owner to exercise some control over the property that is the subject of the lien. This includes the right to force a sale of the property, and to seize the resulting revenue, and priority access to the property ahead of other creditors.
As you might have gathered, a "tax lien" is simply a lien placed on property by the IRS or Middletown, Rhode Island tax authorities, to gather taxes that the property-owner has failed to pay.
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 Middletown, Rhode Island apply to after-acquired property (property obtained 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 Middletown, Rhode Island
The process of imposing a tax lien on property in Middletown, Rhode Island 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.
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 (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 Rhode Island have all the rights in the taxpayer's property that any other lien holder would have, including priority over competing creditors.
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 Middletown, Rhode Island 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 Middletown, Rhode Island Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you are notified by the government that you owe back taxes in Rhode Island, and that they are going to pursue a tax lien to collect their money, things can get very intricate, quite quickly.
Accordingly, it's important that you contact a tax attorney in Middletown, Rhode Island 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.