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The taxpayer can contact the IRS (within the time offered on the notice) and the IRS will offer release of lock-in to those taxpayers who are tax compliant with all filing and payment requirements for the three tax years ending with the most recent return due.
For withholding compliance purposes, a tax compliant taxpayer is defined as one who has filed all required returns and full paid all tax (i.e., Form 1040 liability), penalties, and interest on time.
No payment arrangements like Installment Payments are allowed to be in in progress for this.
A lock in letter will generally stay for 12 months but the IRS can require the higher withholding for 2 years.
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