What is a Tax Lien and Can You Prevent Getting One on Your Assets?
If you are in the unfortunate situation of being unable to pay your tax debt to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it is possible that they can make a legal claim against your property. This is called a tax lien. A tax lien does not mean that the IRS will actually seize your property. It simply ensures that the IRS gets the first right to your property before any other creditors. You should be aware that a tax lien can show up as a public record on your credit report, which can (as you might imagine) hurt your credit score. Once a tax lien has been filed, it can be very difficult to remove. While the IRS will release the lien within 30 days of a fully paid tax debt, it may take much longer for the credit bureau to remove it from your credit report.
How to Avoid a Tax Lien
The best way to prevent a tax lien is to pay your tax debt off to the IRS in full as soon as possible. Here is a detailed list of options that could help you avoid a tax lien.
- Installment Agreement: An installment agreement allows you to pay your debt to the IRS over time rather than in one large lump sum. This works very much like a credit card where you pay a monthly amount to the IRS over the course of several years. In addition to the actual tax debt owed, you will also be responsible to pay interest and penalties, but the bottom line is that this agreement will give you more time to pay the total amount you owe.
- Offer in Compromise: An Offer in Compromise (OIC) can be granted from the IRS if you are unable to pay the full amount due. You will have to present your case to the IRS proving that you are unable to pay. You’ll need to produce financial documents and submitting a detailed application. If granted, an Offer in Compromise can allow you to settle your tax debt for less than you owe.
- Tax Support: It is very important to understand that you should never ignore letters or other correspondence from the IRS about your tax debt. Ignoring a situation only escalates it. The IRS is much more open to taxpayers if they communicate with them. If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to pay your debt to the IRS, your best option is to get tax support to help you determine your best path forward. A reputable tax relief firm can help you determine whether you qualify for an installment agreement or an offer in compromise. Additionally, a tax firm can communicate with the IRS on your behalf, so you don’t have to.
Success Tax Relief can help you avoid being served with a tax lien. For more information or to speak with one of our tax relief specialists, contact us online or call 877-825-1179 today.