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Facts about IRS-issued tax liens

A lien, by definition, is a creditor's right to take a debtor's property until that individual's debt is paid off or discharged. A lien can be issued for any form of debt, including federal income taxes. Massachusetts residents who find themselves behind on their tax payments may find the government swooping in to seize their property if they do not take the steps to address the situation as soon as possible.

Once a tax lien is issued, there are three ways to deal with it. Option number one would be to pay what is owed in a lump sum -- which most people cannot afford to do. Option number two would be to negotiate an affordable payment plan or discharge of debt with the Internal Revenue Service. Option number three would be to consider filing for bankruptcy -- which can have a number of financial consequences.

One thing people who are dealing with tax liens want to know is if any of their property is protected from seizure. The good news is yes, some assets are exempt. Legal counsel can provide more detail on that. Property that is commonly seized includes:

  • Investment accounts
  • Cars
  • Bank accounts
  • Real estate

Tax liens are serious business. Massachusetts residents who are or may soon find themselves facing tax liens can help themselves by getting ahead of the game. The sooner action is taken, the better. An experienced tax law attorney will have the ability to review the finer details of one's case and help one pursue the course of action best thought to resolve the matter.

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