Tax Liens

The law regarding tax liens is one of the most complicated of any area of law. To have a lien removed from your property or to determine whether tax liens have priority over other competing interests with respect to that property is not a simple matter of comparing dates on the various pieces of paper filed with the local County Clerk or Register of Deeds. The IRS is constantly asking the courts to find that IRS’s liens are ahead of other claims with respect to real and personal property the IRS desires to take.

The IRS has convinced the courts to extend the power of the federal tax lien way beyond what the person on the street believes makes common sense. For example, the IRS believes that it can place a lien, without giving any notice, on a piece of property if it simply claims that the property is being held on behalf of a person who owes federal taxes. These “nominee” or “alter ego” liens, at one time relatively rare, are used almost daily nowadays by the IRS. The problem is that often the IRS is simply wrong with respect to its lien claims. Without good representation, people are losing their property to these “nominee” or “alter ego” liens even when the IRS’s claims are without merit.

Something that most people do not realize is that after a period of time, tax liens are no longer enforceable. However, that period of time is not necessarily fixed. Certain actions by the IRS or by the taxpayer can extend the normal life of a tax lien. When a tax lien expires is one of the most important facts to be determined. Unfortunately, most people cannot make that determination without the assistance of a professional tax advisor.

As a result, when dealing with tax liens, you should definitely retain an expert to advise you before you make any decisions regarding the purchase or sale of that property. If the IRS is making a claim against your property, you should not assume that the IRS is correct and that its claims cannot be challenged. There are many reasons why an IRS lien cannot be enforced against a piece of property. Some of these reasons are not obvious to the person or professional without extensive experience with tax liens.

Joseph Falcone has been researching and litigating matters involving tax liens for over 39 years. In fact, this is one of his favorite areas of tax law. If you have a problem concerning tax liens, Joseph Falcone can help you.