A taxpayer searching around the internet asked this question. It is a very good question because it asks about the reach — and the limits — of the IRS’s power to reach into our lives whether we like it or not.
Liens 101: What is a Lien, Anyway?
For those unfamiliar with the term, a “lien” is essentially a claim — someone claims you owe them money.
In certain situations, the person (or business, or government agency) making the claim can file a document announcing this claim with the County Clerk or other public records authority.
By filing a lien with the County Clerk, the claimant announces to the world (and especially to credit reporting agencies) that the claimant says you owe it money.