The Law Offices of Matthew W. Stanley
Dealing with an IRS tax lien is a stressful experience that can wreak havoc on your life and your finances. When an individual owes overdue taxes to the federal government, the IRS has the ability to place a tax lien on that person's property. It's important to note that this is different from an IRS levy. Levies include property seizures, most often of bank accounts, and wage garnishments. Levies may follow liens if the taxpayer ignores the tax problems. The IRS often issues levies "to get the taxpayer's attention."
By contrast, a lien is a public record filed with the local government where the person lives or maintains property. Once the lien is filed, it can have a dramatic effect on a person's life – hurting their credit score, making it difficult for them to purchase a home or vehicle, to sell property and even to find a job.
Getting a Tax Lien Released
There are four basic methods to get a tax lien released. Once a tax lien is released, it may be removed from the individual's records. If you have an IRS tax lien on your record, you have four options for seeking to have it removed:
· Pay your tax bill
· Wait for the collection statute to expire
· Petition the IRS to have the lien removed if it was filed by mistake
· Submit an Offer in Compromise (OIC) and settle the tax case.
A fifth more limited option is to seek a discharge of specific property from the lien, for example to allow a sale of the property.
For most people, it's not financially practical to simply wait for the statute to expire. In most cases, a tax lien expires 10 years from the date the tax is assessed. A tax lien may stay in place even longer under certain circumstances. Understandably, most people don't want to wait so long to begin rebuilding their credit and their financial security.
Accordingly, taxpayers will generally try to enter into monthly installment agreements with the IRS to pay back their overdue taxes or try to settle with the IRS. Under certain circumstances, certain taxes can be discharged in bankruptcy.
This website has been prepared by the Law Offices of Matthew W. Stanley for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not a substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction or retained by you.