Tax Liens May Do More Harm Than Good — New York Real Estate

Tax Liens May Do More Harm Than Good

by John Tayeb on January 10, 2010

The U.S. Taxpayer Advocate complained to Congress on Wednesday that the IRS is harming taxpayers when it imposes tax liens on homes.

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson reported that IRS agents only consider income and expenses—not other debts—when sizing up a delinquent taxpayer’s ability to pay.

Research from Olson’s office also shows that tax liens don’t boost revenue collection.

Meanwhile, a tax lien can reduce a home owners’ credit score for as long as 15 years, which can drive up his borrowing costs and reduce his ability to get a good job, Olson pointed out.

“If the filing of a tax lien drives up a taxpayer’s costs and renders him or her unemployed or underemployed, the government may be forced to make outlays in the form of unemployment benefits, food stamps and the like,” Olson wrote.

Source:, Jeanne Sahadi (

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