It's no wonder that tax relief specialists thrive in such great numbers - taxes are seriously complicated and repercussions of failing to pay taxes are significant. Once you get stuck with a tax lien, you feel trapped. So what can you do to remove a tax lien?
A tax lien is a legal way for the IRS to get an individual to pay tax debt that is owed to them. A tax lien can be placed on either your personal or real property when you fail to pay taxes within a given period of time. For example, an IRS tax lien can attach to your possessions (house, car, boat) and to any property or items that you may acquire even after the IRS files a lien. The lien is usually filed at a local County Clerk’s office and is a public document. It can also be filed with the Secretary of State.
The IRS gains legal claim on property until the lienor can pay the tax that is owed, the idea being to encourage the lienor to pay the tax. If the IRS has placed a tax lien on you, it will seriously affect your credit rating and will either render sale of personal property difficult or impossible. Removing a tax lien should be a huge priority for you, as you're no doubt well aware.
What are the options?
First, time is of the essence. You have 30 days to respond to a tax lien after receiving a “Final Notice of Intent to Levy” so respond swiftly.
- Wait it out and let the tax lien expire. For several reasons, this is not the best option. There is a set time period in which a tax lien can be acted upon. For tax liens more recent than November 6, 1990, the tax lien becomes unenforceable after 10 years. For all liens prior to November 6, 1990, the tax lien becomes unenforceable after six years. If you have had a tax lien for a considerable amount of time and the IRS hasn't seen fit to act upon it, perhaps just waiting for the period to expire is an option you
wish to consider. If the period expires with no extension, then the possibility of an action on the tax lien has been removed. This option certainly requires the least amount of effort, but you will have to live with the possibility that the tax lien will be extended before it expires. In addition, the tax lien can show on your credit report forever if you don't pay anything to remove it.