Posted by Bill Scott on October 22, 2000 at 06:34:52:
No, an IRS lien doesn’t equal a motivated property owner. As you’ve noted, the IRS tends to not push the issue, and instead keeps the lien current. Why do they do that? Interest and Penalties continue to accrue!! Also, the lien screws up the title and keeps the property from being sold UNLESS someone wants to deal with the IRS!
I’m a realtor and I sold one property with a big IRS lien on it and I hope I never have to do so again. It took a year to get the mess cleared up. These folks owned about thirty acres of land and wanted to sell off the back sixteen acres or so to pay off the lien.
Well, as it turns out the IRS won’t release the lien on the property being sold—even though it will be a seperate parcel, and let the lien go against the remainder. I pointed out to them that the lien would be against the house, not bare land, and there was enough value in the remaining property to satisfy their lien. No dice, they wouldn’t play. What was even more frustrating was that the IRS couldn’t seem to figure out what the exact amount of the lien was–because of the taxes and penalties. This couple had in the past had a drywalling business and had the IRS do their taxes for them! In fact, the PRO agent who handled this mess, it was his former boss that did the taxes! But he was still insistent that the records weren’t complete and the taxes had been done wrong. So, back to negotiating… To make a long story short, after a year with negotiations and help from a CPA we finally cleared the lien with the sale of the proceeds from the property.
I really wouldn’t want to go through that sort of mess again! Just my two cents worth…