Liens

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

A state tax execution attaches 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 execution 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 by going to Georgia Tax Center and searching for a liens' payoff information using the SOLVED (Search for a Lien) database.  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  If the Department determines that the lien was filed in error, the lien will be withdrawn.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 execution against you in error, the Department would 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

Get more information about partial releases and subordination of liens.

Statute of Limitations and Liens

State tax executions must be recorded within 7 years of the assessment date if the assessment took place before January 1, 2018. 

State tax executions must be recorded within 5 years of the assessment date if the assessment took place on or after January 1, 2018. 

After the Department records a state tax execution, the Department has 10 years from the recording date to collect the tax liability. This 10-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.