A tax lien is a claim on property to satisfy a tax debt, and a public notice is generally filed to protect the government’s interest in unpaid taxes that are owed. By federal law, the IRS is given an automatic lien on a taxpayer’s property, including real, personal, tangible, intangible, and after-acquired, when the taxpayer is notified of a tax debt and the debt is not paid within ten days.
A “Notice of Federal Tax Lien” is then filed to notify the public and the taxpayer’s creditors that the IRS has a claim against the taxpayer’s property. The tax lien becomes part of the public record when it is filed with the clerk of the county in which the taxpayer lives, operates a business, and/or owns real property. The IRS must then notify the taxpayer within five days of the tax lien filing of the right to a hearing. At the hearing, the taxpayer can contest the validity of the lien. If unsuccessful, the taxpayer may appeal the determination to the U.S. Tax Court or a federal district court.
A tax lien would be released once the underlying debt is satisfied or it becomes unenforceable due to the lapse of time. The tax lien may also be released once an offer in compromise is accepted and the offer amount satisfied. However, even after it is released, the tax lien may be reflected on the taxpayer’s credit report for up to ten years and negatively affect their credit and borrowing ability.
The IRS may withdraw the public notice of tax lien before full payment if:
- The filing of the notice was premature or was not in accordance with administrative procedures.
- The taxpayer entered into an installment agreement to pay the tax debt
- Withdrawal of the notice would facilitate collection of the tax debt
- Withdrawal of the notice would be in the best interests of the government and the taxpayer.
For more information on tax liens, please call us for a free, confidential consultation. If you are searching for a highly qualified representative to negotiate the release or withdrawal of a tax lien with the IRS or a state tax agency, we offer our services with the highest levels of quality and professionalism. Our team of expert tax attorneys, enrolled agents, and CPA’s can also negotiate with the government to subordinate a lien and work closely with nationwide lenders, thus giving you the ability to obtain a loan to satisfy all or part of that lien.