To check for an IRS Property Tax Lien, you can use the Internet. Each state’s method of filing IRS tax liens will differ slightly. 

Q: How can I check for an IRS property tax lien using the Internet? I am housebound and can’t get to the county courthouse.

A: While you might not be able to get to the county courthouse, you do have access to the Internet. The good news is that many states now have online systems for accessing certain recorded or filed documents.

While we don’t know what state and county you live in, if you are looking to see if the IRS has filed a tax lien against you or your home, there are several possible ways to find out that information.

The first way to see if a tax lien is filed specifically against your home is to review the recorded document history for your home. Usually IRS lien documents are filed at the state level and they may be filed at your county level as well.

If you are looking at the state level, the Secretary of State for the state where you live may have a website that allows you to search a database and see if your name is on it. While it’s a bit much to describe the method used in each state, you can probably do a web search for your state and also search “IRS tax liens” at the same time.

Once you find the place to search at the state level, you can then see if your name is on the list. Then, you can move to your county level and see if the specific records for your locality show that the IRS lien has been filed against your property.

Each state’s search process and each state’s method for filing IRS tax liens may differ slightly. The essence will remain the same. The IRS can file a general tax lien against you to give third parties notice of a claim the IRS has against you. Then, the IRS can file a specific lien against your property to make sure that possible buyers of your assets are put on notice of the right the IRS has against your real estate.

The real differences come in to play in the way each state and locality will allow consumers to view that information. For example, if you live in the State of Georgia and search on the internet “Georgia IRS tax lien search,” you will find a number of sites that will help you in defending your lien, but only one site will be listed there from the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority that allows you to set up a free account to search for tax liens.

(You’ll have to be very careful where you click. The website you need to go to might end in a .info, .org or a .com, which could be easily confused by a scam website.)

If you live in the State of Illinois and you perform the same search for Illinois, you will end up finding a place on the Illinois Secretary of State’s website that will allow you to search federal tax liens.

Finally, if you live in Cook County, Illinois, you could find the site for the recorder of deeds of Cook County and search your property tax parcel number to see if the IRS has placed a specific lien against your property. But if you live in Lake County, Illinois, you might have to pay a onetime fee to search the property records there.

As an example let’s use Cobb County Georgia. If you look up the recorder of deeds of Cobb County, you’ll end up finding the Cobb Superior Court Clerk’s site that will allow you to search your name on the property records.

With any luck, you’ll find that you can get the information you are looking for without leaving your home. It may take some time and several tries, but hopefully you’ll find it.