How to Find Out if a Person Has a IRS Tax Lien in State of California?

How to Find Out if a Person Has an IRS Tax Lien in the State of California

As a responsible citizen, it is important to stay informed about your financial obligations, including any outstanding tax liens. A tax lien is a legal claim by the government on a person’s property due to their failure to pay taxes owed. It is crucial to know if you or someone you know has an IRS tax lien as it can have significant implications on one’s financial health and future transactions. In this article, we will explore the steps you can take to find out if a person has an IRS tax lien in the state of California.

1. Gather the necessary information: Before beginning your search, it is essential to have the correct information on hand. You will need the person’s full name, address, and Social Security number. This information is crucial to ensure accurate results and avoid any confusion or mistaken identities.

2. Visit the County Recorder’s Office: The County Recorder’s Office in the county where the person resides is an excellent place to start your search. Tax liens are recorded at the county level and can be accessed through public records. You can visit the office in person or check their website for online access to property records.

3. Conduct a title search: Another effective way to find out if a person has an IRS tax lien is by conducting a title search. This search will provide information about any liens on a person’s property, including tax liens. Title companies or real estate attorneys can assist you with this process. They have access to databases containing detailed information about property ownership and any associated liens.

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4. Utilize online resources: The internet has made it easier than ever to access public records. The California Secretary of State’s website offers a search tool called the Business Search, which can provide information about tax liens on businesses. Additionally, the California Franchise Tax Board’s website can provide information on state tax liens. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website also offers resources to check for federal tax liens.

5. Hire a professional: If you are having difficulty finding the necessary information or navigating the various resources, consider hiring a professional. Tax attorneys or certified public accountants (CPAs) experienced in tax matters can help you conduct a thorough search and provide guidance on the next steps.


Q1. Can I access tax lien information for free?
A1. While some resources may charge a fee for detailed information, many government websites provide access to public records at no cost. However, it is essential to note that certain services may require a fee for more extensive searches or detailed reports.

Q2. Can I search for tax liens on behalf of someone else?
A2. Yes, you can search for tax liens on behalf of someone else, provided you have their consent. It is crucial to respect privacy and legal obligations while conducting your search.

Q3. How long does a tax lien stay on record?
A3. In California, tax liens typically stay on record for ten years from the date of assessment. However, if the lien is not released or paid within that period, it can be renewed for an additional ten years.

Q4. What are the consequences of having a tax lien?
A4. Having a tax lien can negatively impact one’s financial health. It can hinder the ability to obtain credit, sell property, or enter into certain contracts. It is crucial to address tax liens promptly to avoid further complications.

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Q5. How can I remove a tax lien?
A5. To remove a tax lien, it is necessary to satisfy the outstanding tax debt. This can be done through payment in full or by entering into an agreement with the IRS or state taxing authority. Once the debt is resolved, a release of lien can be obtained.

In conclusion, staying informed about tax liens is crucial for individuals and businesses alike. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can find out if a person has an IRS tax lien in the state of California. It is important to remember that tax matters can be complex, and seeking professional guidance is always advisable.