Supreme Court Ruling On Tenants By The Entirety

April 18, 2002

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a federal tax lien may attach to the interest of one spouse when property is held as tenants by the entirety. The court found that, while one looks to state law to determine what interests a taxpayer may have in the property subject to a federal tax lien, federal law will control as to the sufficiency of those interests to constitute property for purposes of levying against it under the Federal Tax Lien Act. The court found Michigan law accorded sufficient rights to one holding an entireties interest to constitute property under federal law. US v. Craft, No. 00-1831.