A lien is usually a way for the IRS to take control of some property that you own and sell that property to cover a tax liability that has gone unpaid for a period of time. If your property has become subject to a lien by the IRS you need to act immediately. If you do not act immediately the IRS will sell your property to cover the outstanding tax liability you have accrued.
Receiving a Notice of Lien
Understand that if the IRS issues a lien against your property this lien covers virtually all the property that you own not just one single asset. Property can be anything of value that the IRS can sell to get the money that you owe them. This can include your personal residence, vacation residence, vehicles, jewelry, and furnishing. This also includes any asset that you acquire after the lien has been filed against you. A lien can last for up to ten years depending on your situation. The lien will not expire until your outstanding tax liability has been paid in full. It is important that you do not wait to negotiate some kind of payment plan or settlement. After a lien has been filed it can become harder for the IRS to negotiate with you in regards to your outstanding liability.
The IRS Will Not Seize All Assets
Some assets that the IRS will avoid seizing include your personal residence. The IRS will only go after your personal residence as a last resort because they know it is where you live. They will usually seize most other assets of value before they sell your personal residence. The second thing that the IRS will not seize is assets that have no value. If the asset cannot be sold for cash to cover your tax liability the IRS will generally not try to take it from you. An example is your personal residence with a mortgage, if the mortgage is the same or exceeds the value of the property the IRS cannot profit from its sale because all the proceeds below to the bank.
The best way to avoid the IRS from issuing a lien on your property is to always try to contact them and work with them at the earliest possible time before your tax debt becomes a problem.