As the economy keeps getting worse and individuals, businesses and governments are struggling to make revenue and pay their bills, the IRS is also getting stricter and less lenient. Linked Press has recently reported that the IRS has filed over one million liens this fiscal year. This is a drastic 14 percent increase of liens filed by the IRS from the previous year.

A tax lien is a lien imposed by the IRS on an individual’s property in order to secure payment for delinquent taxes. This can have a negative effect on the individual’s record even after the taxes have been paid and the lien has been lifted. Individuals who seek out tax help and negotiate with the IRS collection employees to attain a supervisor’s approval may avoid tax liens.

Many argue that the IRS is very aggressive when it comes to collecting debt and does not show mercy for any taxpayer in this slumping economy. Nina E. Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, is known to criticize many of the IRS practices. She has reported to Congress with her conclusion that there is not enough valid information that shows that tax liens make a meaningful contribution to collecting revenue. She finds it unacceptable that the IRS financially torments struggling taxpayers through liens.

The IRS defends tax liens by claiming that before tax liens are filed, the taxpayers have different tax help options and opportunities such as signing up for payment plans and paying off their tax debt.

While taxpayer advocates are working on revising tax codes, many taxpayers do have opportunities to obtain tax help and avoid becoming a victim to tax liens imposed by the IRS. You can reach out to a tax resolution specialist or tax attorneys to learn your options and necessary steps to alleviate your tax debt burden.