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If you've been issued a notice of lien, you're entitled to a meeting with a collection officer. This is known as a collection due process hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to determine one, whether the tax is owed (which is usually satisfied by the IRS having sent prior notices of deficiency), and two, to determine whether a lien is the most appropriate method for collection of tax due. At the hearing, you may make an "offer in compromise," an offer to pay less than the total amount due to settle the liability, and have the lien removed. Or, if the IRS does not accept your offer, you may ask to pay the liability off with installment payments, and request to have the lien removed in the interim.
A lien is a method to ensure that the liability is satisfied, so of they are assured that payment will be made, they have the option of removing the lien.
Of none of these options work, you may petition the US Tax Court and ask that the Court determine that the IRS acted arbitrarily and that the lien should not stand.
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