Tax Lien Lawyers in Moses Lake
A "lien" in Moses Lake, Washington is a type of security interest that one person or entity has in someone else's property. Usually, 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 Moses Lake, 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 Moses Lake, 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. However, a tax lien applies to property that the taxpayer obtains even after the lien is created. Evidently, this makes it quite a bit easier for the government to collect its taxes.
Tax Lien Procedure in Moses Lake, Washington
The process of imposing a tax lien on property in Moses Lake, Washington is normally fairly simple. The first step is for the IRS or local tax agency to determine that a person really owes back taxes, and that it is worth the effort to impose a lien.
They will then mail a document called a "notice and demand," which lets the taxpayer know that they owe money on their taxes, and that they have a specific period of time (normally 10 days) to pay what they owe.
If this 10-day period expires without payment, the tax lien arises automatically. Once this happens, the tax authorities in Washington 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 Moses Lake, Washington 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 Moses Lake, Washington Tax Lien Lawyer Help?
If you are notified by the government that you owe back taxes in Washington, and that they are going to pursue a tax lien to collect their money, things can get very convoluted, extremely quickly.
Accordingly, if you think that any piece of property you own might become subject to a tax lien in Moses Lake, Washington, you should not hesitate to seek the advice of a qualified tax attorney immediately.