Robert G. Nath
Over 30 Years'
IRS and State Tax
Robert G. Nath, PLLC
1775 Wiehle Avenue
Reston, VA 20190
Federal Tax Liens
- I see on the lien form that the lien can be "refiled." Can the IRS extend the lien by refiling?
Yes, BUT ONLY if the government (Department of Justice) files a federal court lawsuit BEFORE the original lien expires (normally 10 years from the date of assessment of the taxes). Simply re-filing the notice of lien (without such a lawsuit) when the 10 years expires does NOT extend the lien period, and the IRS does not do this absent the above-noted lawsuit.
- To what does the federal tax lien attach?
By law it attaches to "all property or rights to property" that you own or in which you have a legal interest or claim. This language means just what it says: everything, wherever located. But just because the lien attaches does not mean you lose the property. Other liens, such as mortgages, can and usually do come ahead of the IRS lien because they were filed before the IRS lien was filed. The law relating to the federal tax lien is complex, so consult an advisor to determine your rights on this issue.
- How can I deal with the lien if has already been filed?
The lien can be paid in full. If you can't do this, and want to sell property, then you can apply to have the lien subordinated, or the property "discharged" from the lien, or released if a sale would pay the lien in full (including interest). You can file an "offer in compromise" for your taxes; if accepted and paid, the IRS will release the lien. The law also allows other, more cumbersome, ways of dealing with the tax lien.