What Is a Tax Lien?
Any action from the IRS can be daunting, especially when your possessions are at stake. A federal or state tax lien is the government’s claim against any property that you own or that you obtain while you have an outstanding debt. This secures the IRS’s interest in your assets (both personal and business), including real estate, property, and financial, should you fail to resolve the liability in question.
The Severity of an IRS Lien
Federal tax liens are serious and damaging to your financial opportunities. Because a Notice of Federal Tax Lien is a matter of public record, it can create problems obtaining lines of credit or keeping a healthy credit score (let alone the embarrassment). Unlike an IRS tax levy, a lien does not involve immediate asset-seizure or wage garnishment; however, should you neglect to address the lien, the IRS may begin to seize and auction your belongings.
The IRS has 10 years from the date of assessment to collect on your tax debt, so you won’t necessarily see a Notice of Federal Tax Lien letter right away (but consider this a possibility if you’re aware of an existing tax debt). States may also apply a lien separately from the federal government (e.g. a California state tax lien).
Releasing a Tax Lien
You may be able to have a federal tax lien released before things get worse. Instead of focusing solely on requesting a release, you should make a concerted effort to address the back taxes you owe. Handling your tax issue urgently is the best way to ensure collection actions don’t escalate.
It’s wise to contact a licensed tax professional for help with your tax lien or tax debt resolution in general. Tax Defense Network’s team of experienced tax professionals can help deal with the IRS or state on your behalf to find the best resolution for your situation.
When it comes to IRS liens, there are many misconceptions about what can and cannot be done. Although you have the ability to address the tax issue which caused the lien, there is seldom a fast and easy method of removal. When you’re dealing with a federal tax lien, “statute of limitation” is a popular, associated phrase you will want to concern yourself with.
The IRS has ten years from the date of assessment to collect on your tax debt. And you won’t necessarily see an “intent to lien letter” (however, if you’re aware of an existing tax debt, you must consider this as a possibility). To further complicate matters, your lien may not actually be put in place by the federal government; a “California state tax lien”, for instance, can be applied separately.
Although there is no rapid method for a federal tax lien release, you can affect the underlying problem. Rather than focusing solely on requesting an “IRS release of lien”, you should make a concerted effort to address the corresponding back taxes you owe. If you handle your tax issue with a high level of urgency, a tax lien removal may cease to be a primary concern.