When you owe overdue taxes to the government, the IRS may place a tax lien on your property. An IRS lien is different from an IRS levy. An IRS lien is a document filed with your local county government letting the general public know that you have an unpaid debt to the federal government. The lien protects the government’s ability to collect the money it is owed. In contrast, an IRS levy is the action of collecting the taxes owed by seizing a bank account or garnishing wages.
How an IRS lien affects your life
When the IRS lien becomes part of public record it can severely impact your financial well-being. Once the IRS lien is recorded with your local government, the credit bureaus are notified, which can impact your ability to sell or buy a car, buy property, file bankruptcy, get a credit card, lease a home, and even find employment.
How to get an IRS tax lien released
There are only four ways to have an IRS tax lien released. These include:
- Pay the past due tax bill in full.
- Submit an acceptable Offer of Compromise and meet all of its terms.
- Let the statute expire (takes 10 years).
- If the lien was filed by mistake, file an administrative claim with the IRS and have the lien removed.
Of special importance, once you are able to have the tax lien released, be sure to get a copy of the lien release from the IRS, because you will need to forward it to all the credit bureaus so your files can be updated. Failure to take this step will result in the tax lien remaining on your report with a designation of “released” for seven years. It’s far better to have the tax lien removed altogether without a trace.
Tax law help in Castle Rock and metro Denver
When you are notified of an impending federal tax lien, contact the tax attorneys at Robinson & Henry in Castle Rock, Colorado. Our tax law experts will help you explore your options for avoiding an IRS tax lien, including setting up an installment payment agreement with the IRS. In order to sidestep the tax lien, the plan will have to be either a guaranteed installment agreement or a streamlined installment agreement. Only tax debts of less than $10,000 are eligible for a guaranteed installment plan. Streamlined installment agreements are available to those with up to $25,000 in tax debt. If you owe more than $25,000, you must pay down the balance to $25,000 or less in order to avoid a tax lien. This can often be accomplished through credit cards or a home equity line of credit.
The knowledgeable tax attorneys at Robinson & Henry will help you if you dispute the amount of taxes the government says you owe or if you wish to propose a compromise settlement, present an installment agreement, or apply for non-collectible hardship status to avoid the tax lien.
Few experiences in life are as tumultuous and stressful as dealing with the IRS and facing the prospect of an IRS tax lien. The good news is you don’t have to face this battle on your own. The tax attorneys at Robinson & Henry are ready to help anyone from the Castle Rock, Littleton, Douglas County, and southern metro Denver area work through your taxation challenges and minimize the financial damage to your family and future. Call 303-688-0944 for a no cost consultation today.