IRS eases rules on liens or delinquent taxpayers

Thursday, February 24th, 2011 | Finance News

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service is trying to help people who owe back taxes, so it's reducing the number of property liens and easing rules for small businesses to enter into installment agreements.

As the economy has soured, the IRS has filed an increasing number of liens on property owned by delinquent taxpayers. Last year, the agency filed nearly 1.1 million liens, compared with 426,000 in 2001.

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman says the steps will help people get current on their tax bills while recognizing that many are struggling in a weak economy.

Liens are notices filed in land records to ensure the government can collect back taxes when property is sold. They also alert potential creditors that property owners owe back taxes.