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United States v. Union Central Life Ins. Co., 368 U.S. 291 (1961)

United States v. Union Central Life Insurance Co.

No. 52

Argued November 7, 1961

Decided December 18, 1961

368 U.S. 291


Because a Michigan statute then required that a notice of a federal tax lien must contain a description of the land upon which the lien was claimed and it was the practice of county officials to refuse to accept for recording notices of federal tax liens not containing such descriptions, notice of a federal tax lien "upon all property" of certain delinquent taxpayers (not describing the property) was filed instead in the office of the Clerk of the Federal District Court for the judicial district in which certain real estate belonging to them was situated, as provided in § 3672(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939, as amended.

Held: no state law "authorized the filing of such notice in an office within the State," within the meaning of § 3672(a)(1), and the federal tax lien was valid and entitled to priority over a mortgage recorded subsequently in accordance with state law. Pp. 368 U. S. 291-296.

361 Mich. 283, 105 N.W.2d 196, reversed.

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