How to Find Tax Lien Records

Tax liens are public records, which means you can look up lien information for yourself, a business or any other person. If you’re not looking for your own records, you don’t need the permission of the other party to perform your search. Anyone who owes federal or state tax debt can have a lien filed against him -- it doesn’t matter if the person owns real property or not. However, tax liens do attach to property and also appear on credit reports. If you’re purchasing a home, you’ll want to check any address you’re interested in to make sure a lien is not attached to it.

Gather information about the person or property you want tax lien information for. Searches for tax liens can be performed by the person’s name or address.

Visit the website of the clerk for the county in which the person lives or owns real property. All state and federal tax liens are filed in either the county where the person lives or the county where the person owns real property.

Search for tax liens. Many counties allow you to search for tax liens online, but you can also search for liens in person at the county office. The section of the website you’ll use to look up tax lien information varies by state, but “Real Property,” “Search Public Records,” or “Online Documents” are common areas to check. If you can’t figure out where to look on the website, call the clerk’s office and ask where to find the information. If the county you’re looking in doesn’t allow you to look online, you can visit the clerk’s office during normal business hours to search for your record.

Review tax lien data. If a lien has been filed against an address or person, the tax lien information usually includes the amount owed on the lien and -- in some cases -- might also include the type of tax owed and the years or periods that make up the balance.

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About the Author

With a background in taxation and financial consulting, Alia Nikolakopulos has over a decade of experience resolving tax and finance issues. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent and has been a writer for these topics since 2010. Nikolakopulos is pursuing Bachelor of Science in accounting at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.