Tax Lien Lawyers in Bellingham
A "lien" in Bellingham, 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 funds 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 acquire the payment of back taxes. A tax lien in Bellingham, Washington can arise to secure the payment of any federal or state tax, including income tax, estate tax, or gift tax.
Of course, a tax lien in Bellingham, Washington isn't worth much more than the paper it's printed on if the debtor doesn't own any property of value, on which a lien could be placed. Nonetheless, a tax lien applies to property that the taxpayer obtains even after the lien is created. Apparently, this makes it quite a bit easier for the government to collect its taxes.
Tax Lien Procedure in Bellingham, Washington
In Bellingham, Washington, the process for creating a tax lien is fairly uncomplicated. First, the tax authorities decide that a taxpayer truly 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 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.
But, under federal law, there are limits to how tax liens can be enforced in Bellingham, Washington, and elsewhere. Usually, the IRS has 10 years to try and enforce a tax lien. If no effort is made to enforce a tax lien for 10 years, the lien is automatically lifted, and the lien holder loses all rights in it. This rule exists to ensure that the government collects its taxes in a reasonable time period, and it prevents valuable property (which could otherwise be contributing to the economy by being bought and sold) is not laded with a lien for an indefinite period of time.
How Can a Bellingham, Washington Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a tax lien in Washington, you are going to have to wade through some substantial and complicated legal concerns.
Therefore, if you think that any piece of property you own might become subject to a tax lien in Bellingham, Washington, you should not delay to seek the advice of a skilled tax attorney immediately.