Collierville, TN asked in Tax Law for Tennessee

Q: What court is a federal tax lien filed in if it only shows Register of Deeds, Shelby County, TN on the lien letter?

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2 Lawyer Answers

A: The IRS doesn't go to court before it records a lien.

When you owe tax a lien exists automatically and the IRS then perfects that lien after a period of non-payment.

To challenge the lien, or to challenge the tax owed, you'll have to go through the appeals process which will depend on when the tax was assessed and whether a 90 day letter has been issued or not.

If the lien is proper and the underlying tax cannot be challenged you have to follow the lien removal procedures by 1. paying the tax owed; 2. establishing a direct debit installment agreement that pays the tax owed within 60 months and paying the balance down to below $24,000; 3, displaying a hardship created by the lien; 4. subordinating the lien, or; 5. having the lien withdrawn.

The reference to Shelby county is the location of the property record.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery
  • Tax Law Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: The Tax Lien expires ten years from the day of tax assessment. It can be extended another ten years. Notice it is only of record to the world in the County where the Tax Lien is filed. Tax Liens are not always executed upon, but the IRS usually waits to get paid from real property sales.

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