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DebtHelp.com Tip: In IRS tax law terms, a federal tax lien is known as an “enforced collection.” After all attempts have been made by the IRS to either enter into a payment plan with you or receive the unpaid taxes you owe, the IRS may impose a federal tax lien against you. It is known as “enforced collection” due to the fact that you willingly would not enter into repayment mode with the IRS, after they tried to give you a fair chance. A tax lien is a way for the IRS to receive the unpaid taxes that you owe them.
A tax lien is a claim that is used as a security for any unpaid taxes. This means that if you owe federal or state taxes, the collecting authority (IRS for federal taxes) may place a tax lien on your property to assure themselves of receiving the unpaid taxes.
The federal tax lien placed on your property will be for the value of your unpaid tax bill.
However much you owe in unpaid taxes will be the amount of your federal tax lien, in other words.
A federal tax lien becomes a legal charge against all of your assets, personal and real. It also applies to any future interest you have in property. Think of it like a cumbersome mortgage or deed of trust against your real estate.