How Do You Do a Federal Tax Lien Search?

Conduct a federal tax lien search by contacting the Secretary of State's office for your state, calling the Internal Revenue Service centralized tax unit at 800-913-6050 to inquire about tax liens on your own property, or searching the local recorder's office to find recorded liens, advises Zacks. You can also utilize online databases such as ones available on

If you do not pay taxes, the IRS can file a tax lien on your property, states Zacks. There are a few ways to find outstanding federal liens, including the county office of the property's county. If there is a tax lien filed on your home or property, you must satisfy that lien before you can transfer the property, explains the IRS. With equity in the property, part of the sales proceeds goes toward payment of the lien when the sale closes. If you are selling the property for less than the lien amount, you can ask the IRS to discharge the lien to allow the sale to complete.

You or your lender can also request that the lien be made secondary to the financial institution's lien, to allow for refinancing or restructuring a mortgage. The IRS has the ability to help struggling taxpayers by increasing the dollar threshold to prevent lien filings, says the IRS.