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Home>Levelset Community>Legal Help>Can we file another lien to collect sales tax even though we have gone past the 90 day window? We have interacted with the owner by email about the property and the tax situation over the last 30 days. Does this constitute working on the property?

Can we file another lien to collect sales tax even though we have gone past the 90 day window? We have interacted with the owner by email about the property and the tax situation over the last 30 days. Does this constitute working on the property?

WashingtonLien DeadlinesMechanics LienRight to Lien

We finished up a development in Puyallup, WA for a private landowner and had to file a lien on the property to get the final payment from him. After the payment to us, we released the lien and billed the land owner for the sales tax due so that we could pay the State of Washington. He has refused to pay us the sales tax and I need to know if we can file another lien since we did no other work on the property itself, but we did work to collect the sales tax due from the landowner over the last 30 days?

1 reply

Sep 27, 2018
This is a frustrating situation. In Washington, a mechanics lien must be filed is 90 days from the last date labor or material were furnished to the project. This deadline is related to the work giving rise to the lien right itself (i.e. the improvement of the property) not other work that is merely related to the project in some other sense.

In fact, Washington doesn't even extend the deadline to file liens when the claimant returns to the project to perform “punch-list” work or remedial/warranty/corrective work. Through court decisions, Washington treats this work as irrelevant to the lien deadline, which is based on the “true” end of work.

Just because an additional mechanics lien may not be the path to recovery after the 90-day deadline has passed, it doesn't mean that there aren't additional avenues to recover. Depending on the amount at issue, small claims court may even be an option.

I hope you are able to get paid all that you earned for your work on the project.
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