Tax Lien Lawyers in Columbia
In Columbia, South Carolina, 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 Columbia, South Carolina 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 Columbia, South Carolina 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 Columbia, South Carolina
Imposing a tax lien in Columbia, South Carolina is normally an uncomplicated process. Usually, the tax authorities simply have to make a determination that the taxpayer is delinquent in their taxes, and that imposing and enforcing a tax lien will actually be worth the effort.
Then, the IRS, or state tax authorities, send a "notice and demand," informing the taxpayer that they owe back taxes, and that they are required to pay their taxes within 10 days.
If that time period expires, and the debtor still hasn't paid, the South Carolina tax lien will go into effect automatically, with no further action required.
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 Columbia, South Carolina 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 Columbia, South Carolina Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you receive notice from the federal government, or the government of South Carolina that a tax lien has been imposed on your property, some pretty intricate legal issues are necessarily involved.
Thankfully for you, tax lawyers in Columbia, South Carolina 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.