A lien is a legal claim to secure a debt and may encumber real or personal property. A state tax lien (also known as a state tax execution) is recorded with one or more Clerks of Superior Court to make it a matter of public record and to secure the debt. After a lien has become due and is in the collection process, the Department may file a lien without notice, at any time, if it is in the State's best interest.
Transfer of Ownership of Property
The Department’s liens attach to any property to which the named taxpayer is the owner of record. If ownership of the subject property changes, the Department’s lien remains attached until the lien is resolved. When there is a sale of the subject property, the lien attaches to the proportionate proceeds from the sale. If a taxpayer dies, the property becomes part of the taxpayer's estate and the lien remains attached to his or her share of the property. If the property has multiple owners, the lien may stay with the property, depending on the type of property estate.
Release of Liens
Cancellation of Liens
The Department will cancel a state tax lien when the delinquent tax liability has been resolved. The Department will mark an entry of satisfaction on the execution docket and cancel the lien with the Clerk of Superior Court in each county where the lien had been recorded.
Recorded liens are public information. Mortgage companies, financial institutions and taxpayers may obtain payoff information from the Department upon request. The Department does not require a power of attorney to be completed to receive such information.
Withdrawal of Liens
If the taxpayer believes that a lien was filed in error, the taxpayer may request a withdrawal of the tax lien. If the Department determines that the lien was filed in error, the lien will be withdrawn.
Release of Expired Liens
Expired liens (also known as statute-barred liens) do not attach to any property interest of the taxpayer whose name appears on the lien.
Removing liens from a credit bureau report
The Department has no control over the length of time that credit bureaus keep public information on a credit bureau report. To update your credit bureau report, you must contact the credit bureaus directly.
If the Department recorded a state tax lien against you in error, the Department will amend the lien by stating that it has been officially withdrawn. Please note that the Department cannot instruct a credit reporting agency to alter its records regarding this error because the Department does not report the recording of state tax liens to any such agencies.
Partial Releases and Subordinations of Liens
Statute of Limitations and Liens
State tax liens must be filed within seven years of the assessment date of the tax liability if the assessment was issued before February 21, 2018. The Department has five years to file the lien if the assessment was issued on or after February 21, 2018. Once the Department files a lien, the Department has ten years from the date the lien was filed to collect the liability. This ten year period may be extended for specific reasons outlined in Georgia Code including but not limited to the taxpayer filing bankruptcy or entering into an Installment Payment Agreement with the Department. A tax lien may not be renewed.