What is an IRS Tax Lien?

The Federal Tax Lien and IRS Collections

The IRS tax lien is basically a “you owe us” note that attaches to the taxpayer’s property. It puts others on notice that the IRS has some right to the property.

IRS tax liens can exist for many years and they often prevent taxpayers from selling or otherwise borrowing against their property. In the event that the taxpayer sells property subject to an IRS tax lien, the IRS may be able to either reclaim the property from the third party and/or take the proceeds from the taxpayer.

Taxpayers typically become aware of IRS tax liens when they attempt to sell real estate or vehicles. In these cases, the IRS tax lien places a cloud on the legal title, which results in taxpayers not being able to live up to contractual agreements to deliver marketable title on the specified sale closing date. To avoid breach of contract claims the taxpayer must act quickly to have the IRS tax lien removed. An experienced tax attorney can negotiate with the IRS to have the IRS tax lien removed or lifted.

IRS tax liens frequently cause problems for taxpayers who are serving as personal representative or executor of a family or loved one’s estate. In these instances, the IRS estate tax liens can prevent the executor from distributing funds pursuant to the decedent’s wishes and it can result in the personal representative being held personally liable for any unpaid estate tax obligations. An experienced tax attorney can help you address IRS estate tax liens.

If you have a question about IRS tax liens, we would like to hear from you. Please call us at (832) 915-1040 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.