Smiling new homeowner posing by holding out her housekeys in front of her

What You Can Do About a Lien on a House From the Previous Owner?

Buying a home is massive financial and personal decision. It’s nearly impossible to keep emotions out of the equation—the hope and anticipation when waiting to see if the sellers will accept your offer, and the anxiety during inspection and closing. 

But no matter how many fingers you’ve crossed, there’s always a chance that something will pop up and slow or halt the closing process. The inspection may find something big, or the parties involved may disagree on subsequent negotiations, or the mortgage company may decide not to lend sufficient funds. 

Another big potential dealbreaker is finding a property lien on the home. This can easily stop a deal dead in its tracks. However, if you’re not willing to give up on your dream home, and you’re committed to resolving the lien, you have options. For tax liens, you may need the help of a tax professional, and one option is to hire a tax attorney, who will have more in-depth knowledge and skills for resolving property tax liens. 

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A black woman going through her mail outside of her mailbox

How Many Notices Does the IRS Send Before a Levy?

Have you received an IRS notice telling you of their intent to levy your property? The IRS has many different ways to collect from you if you owe them a tax debt. A tax levy is just one of those ways—but it is one of the most serious. 

Because of the severity of a levy, the IRS will send 5 notices to an individual before seizing the money in the taxpayer’s bank account. After 4 notices, they can seize your state income tax refund without further warning. Once you receive the final notice of intent to levy, you have the right to appeal their decision, but it is better to address the problem before it gets to this point.  

If you have received notice of intent to levy (or notice of a federal tax lien), it’s important that you do not ignore the IRS. The consequences of a lien or levy can be very serious—and may affect your livelihood. They can seize assets like your wages and bank accounts, and they can put a lien on your house (which can make it nearly impossible to sell). For businesses, they can seize or freeze all business accounts, making it very difficult to keep operating. 

A lien or a levy is a very stressful challenge to face, and if you need help you can contact a tax attorney like S.H. Block. Check out the end of this article to schedule your free consultation to discuss your bank levy or wage garnishment options. 

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An IRS officer knocking on the door of a homeowner for a visit

How to Handle an IRS Revenue Officer Home Visit (or Office Visit)

As part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has received a big increase in funding—which has also led to a major hiring spree. Just over half of the $80 billion in new funding was allocated towards “enforcement.”

While the IRS falls short around $600 billion in collection every year, and the increased funding is allocated towards recouping those tax liabilities, some have criticized this spending bill for its potential to unfairly affect low-income taxpayers.

Regardless of the politics, our office is already seeing the effects of the increase in employees. The S.H. Block team is witnessing the ramp up of collection efforts, with an increase in unannounced revenue officer visits. Many of these officers are newly trained and are not necessarily following the same protocols that we’re accustomed to.

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A woman reviewing her paperwork for income taxes

Do I Have to Pay Taxes on a Lawsuit Settlement?

If you’ve been involved in a lawsuit or settlement and have been awarded a sum of money, you might think that money is yours to spend, free and clear. You’ve paid back the entitled parties, your lawyer got his or her cut, and now you’re ready to buy yourself something nice!

Unfortunately, the IRS is also waiting for their portion of your settlement. You might not even realize that you owe taxes on your lawsuit settlement until you receive a 1099 at tax time. Depending on the type of lawsuit and the types of damages awarded, a portion or potentially all of your settlement funds could be taxed as income.

If you’ve been awarded funds from a legal settlement, it would be smart to use a portion of that money to pay an experienced accountant for tax preparation services to make sure that your settlement is taxed correctly. Your accountant can make sure that your tax return is properly prepared; and if you are unable to pay your tax bill, they can help you with payment options. Read more

A person consulting with a tax resolution specialist

What Exactly Can a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist Do for You?

Many people fall behind on their taxes, start to receive notices from the IRS, and/or find themselves in a troublesome situation with the Internal Revenue Service. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you may receive advice about seeking out a certified tax resolution specialist. What does this mean? How can they help?

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A couple looking at a property with a realtor

How to Find Out if a Property Has a Lien on It

Whether you are in the market to buy a new house, or you are thinking about listing your own home for sale, you don’t want any surprises. Finding out if a property has a lien on it before the sales process gets started will save you a lot of headaches.

A lien is issued against a home title when a creditor has a financial stake in the property. This happens because of unpaid debt, which can be related to a mortgage, tax debt, unpaid contractor’s bills, and more.

Often, if a lien is found on a property during the buying process, the real estate deal falls through and the sale doesn’t happen. Most lenders will not approve a loan for a property that has a lien against its title. However, if you want to know how to secure a home loan when dealing with a tax lien, there are ways around the lien.

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A business owner sitting at a table

How to Know Which Accounting and Auditing Services Make Sense for Your Business

Not many small business owners or entrepreneurs particularly enjoy the accounting aspect of their business. For most people, it’s a tedious but necessary task that must be endured in order to keep doing business.

If you have simple finances and few employees, you may still be handling the books yourself. But at some point, the task may grow beyond what you alone can handle. This points many business owners in an awkward spot—large enough to need some accounting help, but not large enough to require a full-time accountant or financial department.

If you’ve found that accounts receivable or accounts payable are not up to date, or payroll details have been missing, it’s time to seek help with your accounting needs. This means asking a basic question about which accounting services are best for your small business. If you are concerned about IRS tax audits, or find yourself in need of an internal financial statement audit to reconcile some mismatching numbers, you might seek out an accounting firm with tax law experience.

Check out 10 Bookkeeping Tips for Small Businesses to make sure you haven’t missed any best practices for your accounting functions. It will help you ask better questions when choosing an accounting and auditing service.

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A business owner on the phone while reviewing his accounts

What Triggers an IRS Audit? And Am I (or My Business) at Risk?

There are few things in life that inspire fear and anxiety like finding out you are being audited by the IRS. Just thinking about the potential implications for your personal life and your business can be headache-inducing, at the very least. But is there anything you can do to avoid an audit? After all, audits are random, aren’t they?

While only IRS insiders know the actual algorithm responsible for audit triggers, we know that there are a few red flags that can put you on the short list for an audit.

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A man making a phone call to remove a hold on a license

How to Remove a Hold on Your Driver’s License From Unpaid Taxes

If you have unpaid taxes, you probably already know that the state of Maryland may add fees and interest to your debt. But if you couldn’t afford to pay the tax liability in the first place, you might be tempted to shrug your shoulders and say, “Oh well.”

This is why the Comptroller of Maryland may use another technique to persuade you to pay back your debt. The state can withhold your driver’s license or vehicle registration until you address your unpaid debt. Many people rely on vehicles for transportation for work or school, so losing their driver’s license can have a devastating impact.

Businesses can also feel this impact, since unpaid debt may interfere with vehicle registration renewal for any vehicles owned by the business. This can be caused by unpaid unemployment insurance contributions, unpaid business taxes, and more.

If you’ve received notice that the state has placed a hold on your driver’s license or registration, you should call a tax attorney like S.H. Block Tax Services to find out what your options are. Our firm has experience with resolving tax debt and can help you get back on the road.

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A woman working on a computer to remove a lien

How to Remove a Tax Lien (so You Can Refinance Your House)

If you’ve got a tax lien on your house, you’ve probably got questions about it—and for most people, the number one question is “how do I get rid of it so I can refinance or sell my home?”

The short answer is that you should be able to pay off your state or IRS tax debt in full to get rid of your lien. But as with just about everything involving taxes and tax debts, the process can get a lot more complicated than that.

In this article, we’ll provide some general information about liens and talk in detail about the steps to get rid of a home tax lien. We’ll also explain how an experienced tax professional can help make the lien removal process a whole lot easier in many cases.

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