How to Prevent a Lien and How to Get a Lien Removed
If you owe the IRS back taxes, the collection process will begin with a review of your real estate and personal assets. An IRS lien is a document filed with a county agency that notifies the general public that you owe the IRS for tax debts. The lien can be attached to any real or personal property including:
• Your Home
• Any Vacation Property, Second Home, Investment Real Estate, or Land You May Have an Interest In
• Business Ownership
• Business Accounts Receivables
• Investments and Securities
• Personal Property and Collections
Once an IRS lien is attached to your property, you will not be able to sell or dispose of it without satisfying the IRS lien first. For example, if you own a home and have equity in the property and the IRS attaches a lien on your house, the first proceeds from any sale will go to the IRS to satisfy the lien – even ahead of your first mortgage or any subsequent mortgages or liens.
Preventing an IRS Lien
There are strategies to prevent the IRS from placing a lien against your property. The experienced tax attorneys at Allen Barron, Inc. have several options available to work with the IRS to avoid the placement of a lien against your assets. It is possible to negotiate a repayment schedule with the IRS, which allows you to retire the debt over a short period of time while avoiding any liens. There are opportunities to make an “Offer in Compromise” in order to settle the debt for less than actual amount owed. If the amount owed is a substantial figure, it may be possible to pay a portion of the debt and work out a plan with the IRS for the balance.
The key takeaway in this discussion is that it is not possible to ignore the problem. The IRS is going to take aggressive action to collect the tax debt, and a lien may not be the only strategy. They may employ a levy or garnishment as an additional tactic to collect the taxes due. Our attorneys will manage all communications and negotiations with the IRS and work to find a solution that prevents the filing of an IRS lien.
Removal of an IRS Lien
Once the IRS has placed a lien against your property or asset, there are only two practical ways to have it removed: withdraw or release. “Withdraw” means it is removed by the IRS as if the lien was never filed. A release simply means the debt has been satisfied and you no longer have an encumbrance against your property.
In order to remove an IRS lien, you must either prove that the tax debt was in error or pay the tax debt in full. You may be able to wait out the statutory limitation of ten years, after which the IRS may no longer be able to collect on the debt and will have to remove the lien. Other options include an “Offer in Compromise,” the IRS “Fresh Start” program, or paying down the outstanding debt below $25,000, which opens other options under IRS repayment programs and taxpayer initiatives.
Contact Experienced Tax Attorneys Who Can Help Prevent or Remove an IRS Lien
The best strategy is to work with experienced tax lawyers who can help to prevent the filing of an IRS lien in the first place. If you are already saddled with an IRS lien, we will work with you to develop a strategy to have it withdrawn or released. If you are facing issues with the IRS relating to collections, liens, levies, or garnishment, we invite you to contact us or call for a free and substantive consultation at 866-631-3470.
Issues with the IRS cannot be ignored, and there are several options for resolving IRS collection issues and moving forward with life.