Yes! You can sell your house with a Tax Lien!

Education & Training with Entente Tax Solutions ENROLLED AGENT & CTRC

Given my background as a former IRS Revenue Officer (25 years) I can assure you that the IRS is more than happy to allow the house to be sold.  It saves the IRS the expense of Seizure and Sell of the property.  The only thing the IRS and NCDOR for State Certificates of Lien require is that the seller who owes money to the IRS and State not walk away with money that the IRS & State should have received. 

So the taxpayer owes money to the IRS State, say $100,000 to IRS and $50,000 to the State.  They also own a home worth $450,000.  I will explain exactly what the IRS and State will get in each of the following circumstances: 

     1. Taxpayer sells and owes the bank $100,000.  In this case the IRS and State will both get full-paid. The house will sell for $450,000, the bank gets its $100,000 first (its mortgage is recorded first), closing cost are paid ($10,000) and then the equity ($340,000) is paid over: $100,000 to IRS, $50,000 to State and $190,000 to the seller.

     2. Taxpayer sells and owes the bank $450,000(short-sale)  In this case there is no equity for the IRS or the State.  The IRS and State would require paperwork showing its a legitimate third party sale (appraisal, contract, closing statement, etc) but otherwise will provide a Certificate of Discharge of Property from Federal Tax Lien, as well as the State, so the buyer can get a clear title.  The IRS State only want what it should have gotten from the equity, and if there is none it will not stop the sale from proceeding.  Remember the IRS & State's goal is to collect from the assets and income of the taxpayer who owes money. If there is nothing to collect the IRS & State will not kill a sale from going forward.   

     3. Taxpayer sells and owes the bank $325,000.  Here there is $115,000 remaining equity after closing cost and mortgage being paid. The payout to the IRS & State will be determined by the assessment dates of each lien.  Once this is determined the IRS & State will issue the issue the appropriate lien release or discharge of property from lien. 

All these scenarios are ones I routinely dealt with as a former Revenue Officer and now as a Certified Tax Representation Consultant.  It is critical that this be worked out with the IRS & State in advance of the closing.  As soon as your client has a contract it is time to get working on the tax lien issue, as these can take several weeks to work out.  And the best part is we get paid from the closing so there is no upfront out of pocket cost to your client.  

If you have any questions about IRS/State tax liens or any other IRS issue please feel free to contact me at (828)781-9412 or

Sue M. Hinson, EA, CTRC 

Entente Tax Solutions 

421 Gardner Point Drive 

Stony Point, NC 28678

Ph. (828)781-9412 


Comments (14)

Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Sue, I can imagine, these homes with liens are being watched closely by the IRS.

Oct 09, 2022 11:34 AM
Sue Hinson, EA, CTRC

Thank you for your comments.  The IRS is only watching if collection is actively being pursued.  Homeowners could have an installment agreement and/or be in currently not collectible status and just want to sell the home or refinance. There is an estimated 75 million taxpayers in collection at this time.  There are many options available to taxpayers to resolve their tax issues with the IRS. 

Oct 09, 2022 11:58 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Sue, for sharing your experience and your advice.

Have a productive autumn.

Oct 09, 2022 11:34 AM
Sue Hinson, EA, CTRC

Thank you so much for your comments.  Hope you have a productive fall as well. 

Oct 09, 2022 12:00 PM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Sunday, and it all starts back up tomorrow. bill

Oct 09, 2022 01:19 PM
Sue Hinson, EA, CTRC

Thank you Bill, Mondays are great!

Oct 09, 2022 01:24 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Sue:

This is great information and education in your post. I had no idea and I suspects this is news to others!


Oct 09, 2022 05:36 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Hello Sue - Who knew? This was a surprise to me! After 25 years, you have to be a wealth of information that's good to know. I really appreciate educational post. 

Oct 09, 2022 09:01 PM
Sue Hinson, EA, CTRC

Thank you!  Have a great day!

Oct 10, 2022 05:46 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
Oct 10, 2022 03:52 AM
Sue Hinson, EA, CTRC

Thank you Richard!  I hope you have a great day.

Oct 10, 2022 05:48 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Sue - your knowledge of the subject is extensive. Congratulations on your first ActiveRain post as you share your expertise.    Good luck as you discover more about the AR community.  

Oct 10, 2022 05:30 AM
Sue Hinson, EA, CTRC

Thank you Michael.  I am looking forward to learning more about the AR community.

Oct 10, 2022 05:50 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Sue,

Welcome to Active Rain and know your knowledge and expertise is valuable! Your post is full of information we all can take note of. Hope to see more posts from you!

Oct 13, 2022 07:14 PM
Sue Hinson, EA, CTRC
Entente Tax Solutions - Statesville, NC

Thank you! 

Oct 15, 2022 08:28 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Sue Hinson, EA, CTRC welcome to ActiveRain, and congratulations on successfully posting your first blog on this site.

Oct 16, 2022 05:16 PM
Sue Hinson, EA, CTRC

Thank you!

Oct 21, 2022 08:08 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

Thank you for walking us through the process.  Welcome to ActiveRain!

Oct 18, 2022 05:57 AM
Sue Hinson, EA, CTRC

thank you!

Oct 21, 2022 08:08 AM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Welcome to the ActiveRain community. Congratulations on your first post.

Oct 19, 2022 02:57 PM
Sue Hinson, EA, CTRC

Thank you

Oct 21, 2022 08:08 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello and Welcome to the Rain where we all learn from each other.  Hope you make it a great day!


Nov 01, 2022 02:23 PM
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Sue ~ Welcome into the 'Rain and congratulation on a great first post that clarifies how a property sale can occur with state & federal tax liens.

Feb 07, 2023 11:45 AM