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Does the IRS immediately file a tax lien when people can’t pay?

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2019 | Tax Liens

Fortunately, the easy answer to that question is no. The IRS will not immediately file a tax lien against an individual who cannot pay his or her taxes. Boston residents who cannot financially meet this obligation may find a way to avoid such liens as the collection process proceeds.

The collection process begins rather simply. The IRS sends the taxpayer a bill. It is important to understand that this is the first step in collecting the debt the agency says an individual owes, so ignoring this first communication is not a viable option for avoiding the negative consequences of not being able to pay. Of course, this initial bill will demand payment in full of the amount owed, including interest and penalties. Persisting in not communicating with the agency will more than likely result in a tax lien for those individuals who own property.

It may be possible to come to an agreement with the IRS regarding the monies owed. The most popular options are installment agreements, offers in compromise and not collectible status. However, it may not be readily obvious which option will work best for a particular Boston resident’s situation. If these options do not work, the agency may take additional steps regarding the taxes owed.

The longer it takes a taxpayer to communicate with the country’s taxing authority, the more aggressive the collection efforts become. This is often where a tax lien could be filed in order to help satisfy the debt. Homeowners usually cannot sell their homes until this lien is satisfied and released by the IRS. The moral of this story is that addressing any unpaid taxes right away could help avoid a tax lien being placed on an individual’s property. Finding the best way to do so may require some experienced legal help.


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