Duquesne Law Review


From the standpoint of the taxpayer, problems dealing with taxation consist primarily of what is taxable, how is it taxable, and to whom is it taxable with the desired result being to pay the legally justifiable minimum to the government. From the government's point of view, the primary problem is (or should be) to impose taxes among all citizens and residents in a fair and equitable manner. If we assume that this state of perfection has been attained, there is yet another problem-the collection of the tax due from the taxpayer to the government. An important tool in the hands of the government to aid in the collection of taxes is a lien imposed on the property and property rights of delinquent taxpayers. This treatise is limited to the lien of the federal government in such cases. To illustrate that this is a problem of more than passing interest, I invite the reader's attention to the latest bound edition of tax cases published by Commerce Clearing House; in the index of this volume under the heading "Federal Tax Liens," one will see eighty references. This is more than appear under any other heading and is considerably more than the items which appear under any such time-honored classifications as "capital gains" and "business expenses." In this treatise I will discuss the nature and background of the federal tax lien as it has evolved to its present form, and the conflicts which arise between federal tax liens and tax liens created by the states.

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