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Back Taxes and Federal Tax Liens

October 18th

If you have had experience with back taxes, you may be familiar with the concept of a Federal Tax Lien. If you have had the unfortunate experience of having the IRS place a lien on your property, you know that it is no picnic. Here a tax debt lawyer explains the federal lien process, how it relates to back taxes, and how to deal with liens if you should be faced with one.

When Back Taxes Mean Liens

The IRS has a legal right to place a lien on your property if you fail to pay back taxes. The lien is a legal claim which allows the government to seize your personal property, including your home or your car, as well as other financial assets, in remuneration for your failure to pay owed taxes. It is not a first recourse for the IRS, however; there must be a record of non-payment on your part before the agency can place a lien on your property.

Once there is a lien on your property that lien becomes a matter of public record, which can be bad for your credit standing. To avoid the lien, of course, the best option is to pay your back taxes when they are due, before the government can place liens. But if you cannot avoid having a lien placed, there are a few ways to have it removed. One is to allow the sale of the asset to cover the debt; other methods, such as subordination and withdrawal, are specific cases that may or may not apply in your specific situation.

Tax debt lawyers advise paying back taxes before a lien is brought against you, because it can hamper your credit and may not be discharged in all bankruptcy filings


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