Tax Lien Lawyers in Anacortes
A "lien" in Anacortes, Washington is a type of security interest that one person or entity has in someone else's property. Normally, a lien is created by a court, to secure payment of a debt. A lien gives its holder many rights in the property that is subject to it, including the right to seize the proceeds if the property is sold, and priority access to the property, in front of other creditors.
A "tax lien" is simply a lien placed on a piece of property by the state or local government, to secure the payment of back taxes. A tax lien in Anacortes, Washington can arise to secure the payment of any federal or state tax, including income tax, estate tax, or gift tax.
However, a tax lien in Anacortes, Washington will be ineffective if the debtor doesn't own any valuable property to encumber with a lien. As with any debt, the creditor can't collect if the debtor doesn't have any assets. However, a tax lien can be applied to property that the taxpayer acquires after the lien goes into effect.
Tax Lien Procedure in Anacortes, Washington
The actual process of setting up an Anacortes, Washington tax lien is typically pretty simple. The agency responsible for collecting taxes must first determine that a tax lien is warranted, typically by finding that the debtor owes a significant amount of back 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 (typically 10 days) to pay them without incurring a penalty.
If the back taxes are not paid before the deadline is up, the lien will typically take effect immediately, with no further action by the IRS or Washington tax agency, giving them all the rights in your property that the law permits.
However, if the federal government does not seek to enforce a tax lien in Anacortes, Washington 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 Anacortes, Washington Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you end up having a tax lien imposed on your property in Washington, you will probably have to deal with some fairly challenging legal issues, which might be complex 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 knowledgeable tax lawyer in Anacortes, Washington as soon as you can.