Table of Contents

5 min read Apr 17, 2023

Tax Lien Investing: Risks and Rewards

Tax lien investing is an alternative way to invest your money and earn a potentially high return. It involves purchasing tax lien certificates, which are essentially liens placed on properties with unpaid taxes.

Tax yield investments can offer an opportunity to earn profits through government-backed tax yields. However, like any investment strategy, there are risks and considerations to keep in mind.

What is Tax Lien Investing?

Tax lien investing, also known as tax yield investments, is an investment strategy where you purchase tax lien certificates from local governments.

When a homeowner fails to pay their property taxes, the government places a lien on the property. This lien gives the local government a legal right over their property for the unpaid tax. Likewise, homeowners cannot sell their property while it is under a tax lien.

Once a property goes under a lien, the government issues a tax lien certificate. This certificate documents the amount of tax owed. You can purchase these tax lien certificates from the government, essentially taking over the lien.

When you take over the lien, you have to pay off all outstanding taxes and interest. In exchange, you receive a right to collect that amount from the property owner. If the owner does not pay, you may have the opportunity to foreclose on the property and take ownership.

How to Buy Tax Lien Certificates?

Currently, only 28 states in the US allow government backed tax yield investments. These states issue tax lien certificates through in-person or online auctions.

The highest bidder will be awarded the certificate, which entitles them to the tax lien on the property. Typically, the bidder must pay the full bid amount at the time of the auction.

You should research the property you are interested in before purchasing its tax lien certificate. By doing this, you can potentially gain an investment property successfully through tax lien investment.

How to Make Money on Tax Liens?

  • Earn Interest on Tax Lien Certificate: The person who wins the tax yield investing auction gets to earn an interest on the certificate.
  • Acquire Properties: You can sell off the acquired tax liens properties for a profit.
  • Use it as a Collateral: Real estate investors can use tax liens as collateral to borrow against or even purchase other tax liens.

Tax Lien Investing: Pros and Cons


  • Fixed Interest Rate: Tax lien certificates offer a fixed interest rate, typically between 8% to 24%, higher than many other investments.
  • Low Risk Investment: Tax liens investments are relatively low risk, as they are backed by the government.
  • Great Returns: Investing in tax liens allows investors to purchase properties at discounted rates. This means investors can potentially acquire properties for much less than their market value, creating an opportunity for a good return on investment.


  • No Ownership Rights: As you don’t have any ownership rights, you cannot renovate, rent or sell the property without permission from the owner.
  • Hidden Costs: Tax liens can come with multiple hidden costs. These can involve legal fees or property maintenance costs, which can reduce your profits.
  • The investor has to Foreclose on the Property: If the property owner fails to pay their taxes, the investor may be faced with the prospect of foreclosing on the property.

Is It Worth Investing in Tax Liens?

Investing in tax liens can be a lucrative opportunity for those who are willing to do their due diligence and take calculated risks. However, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before deciding if it’s worth investing in tax liens.

Ultimately, whether investing in tax liens is worth it will depend on your individual goals, risk tolerance, and investment strategy. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to research and analyze properties, tax lien investing may be a good opportunity for you.

Final Word

In conclusion, tax lien investing can be a lucrative opportunity for those seeking to diversify their investment portfolio and earn passive income. Tax liens investing requires careful research, due diligence, and risk management.

Likewise, you can get high returns and the opportunity to acquire real estate properties at a fraction of their market value. With the right approach and strategy, investing in tax liens can be a valuable addition to any investor’s portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does tax lien affect your credit?

Yes, a tax lien can affect your credit score. The credit reporting agencies can see any tax liens filed against you, are it is a public record. This can make it more difficult for you to obtain credit in the future. However, once you pay off the tax lien, it will show as satisfied on your credit report, which can help improve your credit score.

2. Is tax lien investing ethical?

Yes, tax lien investing is generally considered ethical. It is considered as a legal activity as long as investors follow the rules and regulations.

3. What is the highest interest rate on a tax lien?

Some states have maximum interest rates as high as 18% or even 24%. Typically, the highest interest rate on a tax lien varies depending on the state and local laws.


Save $20

On Silver & up plans

Use Coupon Code:

Need help? Call us on
(844) 448-0110