How to Find IRS Tax Liens
Tax liens are a legal claim by the government on a taxpayer’s property due to unpaid taxes. These liens can have a significant impact on an individual’s financial standing, making it crucial to understand how to find them. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for enforcing tax liens and has several methods for individuals to access this information.
Here are some steps to help you find IRS tax liens:
1. Visit the IRS website: The IRS provides a variety of online resources for taxpayers. Start by visiting their official website and navigate to the “Property” section.
2. Use the IRS Online Tax Lien Database: The IRS maintains an online database called the IRS Federal Tax Lien Search. This database allows individuals to search for federal tax liens by name, business name, or employer identification number (EIN).
3. Contact your local County Recorder’s Office: Tax liens are also filed at the local level. Visit your County Recorder’s Office or their website to inquire about any tax liens on record. They will have information about liens filed by the IRS as well as state tax liens.
4. Check public records: Tax liens are typically public records and may be available through online databases or local newspapers. Search for any notices of tax liens in your area.
5. Hire a title search company: If you’re purchasing property, a title search company can provide a comprehensive report on the property’s history, including any existing tax liens. This is particularly useful when buying real estate.
6. Consult with a tax professional: Tax professionals, such as certified public accountants or enrolled agents, have access to specialized resources and can help you navigate the complexities of finding IRS tax liens.
7. Monitor your credit report: Tax liens can negatively impact your credit score. Regularly check your credit report for any indications of tax liens or unpaid taxes.
8. Stay informed: The IRS may send notices regarding tax liens to the taxpayer’s last known address. Make sure your contact information is up to date with the IRS to receive any relevant notifications.
1. Can I search for tax liens on behalf of someone else?
Yes, you can search for tax liens on behalf of someone else. However, you will need their consent and a Power of Attorney (POA) authorization.
2. Are state tax liens also available in the IRS database?
No, the IRS database only contains federal tax liens. State tax liens are typically filed at the local level.
3. How long does a tax lien stay on my record?
A tax lien can remain on your record for up to 10 years unless you take appropriate action to have it removed.
4. Can I negotiate a payment plan with the IRS if I have a tax lien?
Yes, the IRS offers various payment options, including installment agreements, to help individuals settle their tax debts.
5. Can I dispute a tax lien?
Yes, you can dispute a tax lien if you believe it was filed in error or if you have already paid the outstanding taxes.
6. Can I sell or refinance my property with a tax lien?
It can be challenging to sell or refinance a property with a tax lien. However, it is possible to work with the IRS to resolve the lien and proceed with the transaction.
7. Will a tax lien affect my credit score?
Yes, a tax lien can have a negative impact on your credit score, potentially making it difficult to obtain credit or loans.
8. Can I have a tax lien removed from my record?
Yes, under certain circumstances, you can have a tax lien removed from your record. This may require paying off the lien or entering into a payment arrangement with the IRS.