The IRS has certain tools at their disposal when they are seeking to collect past due taxes. One of the most common types of collection methods is the Lien, and corresponding Notice of Federal Tax Lien. Typically, a Lien is put into effect when the IRS has been repeatedly unable to collect a debt from a taxpayer or when they have lost communication with the tax payer and have decided to escalate their collection of the past due taxes. More importantly, the IRS has the authority to implement these methods without any prior notice so the taxpayer is often caught off guard.
A Lien essentially gives the U. S. government the right to the taxpayer’s property as security for a tax debt, preventing the owner from being able to sell or refinance that asset without authorization or release by the Internal Revenue Service.
Releasing a Lien generally requires coming to some kind of repayment agreement with the IRS; for instance, if a taxpayer decides to file an Offer In Compromise, then the IRS may release the Tax Lien while the taxpayer prepares and submits that Offer In Compromise. However, the IRS will not just release a Tax Lien simply because a tax payer requests that they do. In most cases, expert assistance is required to present the financial condition to the IRS on the taxpayer’s behalf and demonstrate that he or she is willing to settle the outstanding tax debt.
If you have received a Notice of Federal Tax Lien, then it means the IRS has knowledge of your debt, and you must take action to resolve it.