A tax lien is a legal claim against your property to secure payment of the taxes you owe. When a tax debt is a joint liability, the Tax Commission records a notice of lien against both spouses even when the couple only has one Idaho tax debt. However, a married couple will pay only one debt to have both liens released.

A notice of lien is recorded only after all your opportunities to appeal a tax debt have been exhausted. It’s recorded at the Idaho Secretary of State’s office as a public record and attaches to all property you own in Idaho, including your land, house, and vehicles.

How liens can affect you

Tax liens can affect your ability to sell your property or buy new property. For example, if you want to sell or refinance your property, you must pay off the tax lien to get a clear title.

A tax lien is valid for five years unless a continuation is filed before it expires. The continuation extends the lien another five years.

Avoiding a tax lien

To avoid having a notice of tax lien recorded against your property, send the Tax Commission full payment by the final payment date on your Notice and Demand letter. We accept cash, checks, e-checks, money orders, and credit cards. The credit cards we accept are: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and VISA. You can always make payments online.

Liens are public information

Unlike tax returns, tax liens are a public notice of debt. These liens attach to your property and your rights to property. Once the Tax Commission has recorded its notice with the Secretary of State, information from the lien is available to the public.

How to prove your lien's been satisfied

When a tax lien is satisfied, the Tax Commission records a Release of State Lien at the Idaho Secretary of State’s office. A Release of State Lien is mailed to the customer at the last known address.