Federal Tax Lien Search

Definition

A Federal Tax Lien (FTL) is a lien that arises automatically upon the neglect, failure, or refusal of a taxpayer to pay taxes due.  An FTL is a lien upon all real and personal property of the taxpayer.  The lien is not valid against certain third parties (e.g. secured parties, certain lien creditors, etc.) until notice of the lien is filed in the correct filing office. 

The filing of an FTL is controlled by both federal law and state law. The majority of states have adopted, in whole or in part, the Uniform Federal Lien Registration Act (UFLRA).  It is important to note that the laws and rules that apply to the filing of federal tax liens vary substantially from the rules Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code that apply to filing UCC financing statements.