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The IRS can file a tax lien on any delinquent taxpayer, though they typically do so for taxpayers or businesses who owe $10,000 or more.  States file liens as well, with potentially much lower liability thresholds.  These liens are filed in the county or counties in which you live or own property, and they become a matter of public record.

So what exactly is a lien, and what are the repercussions when a lien has been filed?

A lien is essentially a claim against all of the property you own in the counties in which it is filed.  This does not imply an active seizure of these assets; but it does give the government the right to collect the proceeds in any sale of that property.

The taxing authority may first demand full payment, notifying you of their intention to file a lien.  If you do not satisfy the conditions within the notice, the lien is filed.  Liens are most commonly enforced on real estate transactions, though they technically can apply to all sorts of assets, including business holdings.

When a lien is filed against you, it can negatively affect your life in multiple ways.

  • You may have difficulty conducting any real estate transactions, on new or existing property—including buying, selling, and refinancing
  • In certain industries, a lien can cause immediate termination or disqualification from employment
  • Your personal and business reputation can suffer permanent damage
  • If property is sold and the lien is enforced at closing, you may end up full-paying a tax liability which otherwise may have been negotiable, limiting your future options substantially
  • Liens can be enforced even after the taxpayer dies

There are ways of resolving lien issues, both by addressing the lien itself and by resolving the underlying tax issue.  The elite representation with WatchGuard Tax Services may help identify these opportunities and execute a case plan to address it.

Let us help minimize the effect the tax lien has on your life.  Call, chat, or complete the contact form today to learn more with a free consultation from WatchGuard.

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