Professional Services

Tax Liens

What Is a Tax Lien

A tax lien is a security interest the federal government (if issued by IRS) or state (if issued by state tax agency) has in a taxpayer's property as a result of an outstanding tax balance. When the IRS files the lien it attaches to all of the taxpayer's assets, including his home, bank accounts, cars and personal belongs. The federal tax lien ensures that if real property is sold, any proceeds remaining after paying any mortgage balances, will go to the IRS.

A lien can also affect a taxpayer's credit ratings and may make it more difficult for a taxpayer to acquire future credit. Unless released, the lien has a 10 year expiration period.

A lien is different from a levy. A levy is the actual taking of property. A lien is a security interest in the property similar to a mortgage.

Remedies for the lien include:

  • Release: completely extinguishes the lien
  • Discharge: removes certain property from the lien
  • Subordination: relegates the lien to a lower priority
  • Withdrawal: eliminated public notice of the lien

The IRS generally only releases a lien if the tax debt is fully satisfied. A withdrawal is done at a taxpayer's request and is done if the lien was not filed in accordance with IRS procedures or it can be shown that withdrawal is in the IRS' interest. A subordination is done at the taxpayer's request typically in situations where property is to be sold and the proceeds are used toward partial payment of the tax liability.

Services We Provide Our Clients

  • Defer imposition of a lien by filing a Collection Due Process Hearing. This is useful if our client is seeking credit or if client needs time to pursue other remedies.
  • Apply for a withdrawal of the lien. We can often seek a withdrawal if we can show that the IRS did not follow its own administrative procedures in fling the lien.
  • Apply for a withdrawal of the lien. We have also successfully obtained a withdrawal by convincing the IRS that withdrawing the lien would facilitate collection of the tax debt by enhancing the client's ability to retain his or her job, operate his or her business, or borrow money for payment of taxes, etc.
  • Apply for subordination of the lien. A subordination allows the home to be sold free of any lien to the buyer or where the client want to refinance the home.
  • Apply for a discharge of a lien. This requires making calculations of the client's total property value, the amount of the tax debt, and existing liens on property.

Because liens secure tax debts and are the primary tool the IRS uses to ensure collection of tax debts, obtaining any of the remedies noted above are notoriously difficult. Success requires knowledge of tax law and IRS policies and procedures as well as the power of persuasion. So call us if you desire assistance dealing with a tax lien.

Affordable Tax Attorney, Orlando Tax Attorney, New York Tax Attorney, Affordable Tax Lawyer, Orlando Tax Lawyer, New York Tax Lawyer