How to Remove an IRS Lock In Letter

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Employees can remove a lock in letter by contacting the IRS. Employer must follow the lock in letter until notified otherwise by the IRS.

Instructions for Employers to Remove an IRS Lock in Letter

When you receive IRS Letter 2800C, commonly known as a lock in letter, you must adjust or “lock in” your employee’s tax withholding as stated on the letter. Typically, you must set the employee’s withholding to single with no dependents within 60 days of receiving the letter.

You are not allowed to honor any requests from the employee to change his or her withholding. If you have an employee portal where employees can change their withholding, you must block that employee from changing his or her withholding.

You must continue to follow the lock in letter until you receive notice from the IRS. This will usually be Letter 2808C.

How does the IRS know when to send in a lock in letter?

The IRS compares each employee’s W-2(s) against the taxes they owe. If an employee owes too much due to not having enough taxes withheld, the IRS will send a lock in letter instructing the employer to withhold more.

Will the employer get fined?

In most cases, employers aren’t responsible for an employee providing an incorrect W-4. The employer would usually only get in trouble for not following a lock in letter.

Instructions for Employees to Remove an IRS Lock in Letter

When the IRS sends your employer a lock in letter, you’ll get IRS Letter 2801C. Letter 2801C explains that the IRS believes your withholding has been wrong and what withholding the IRS is instructing your employer to use.

It’s called a lock in letter because your employer has to lock in your withholding and can’t allow you to change it.

You have 30 days to appeal Letter 2801C. Follow the instructions on your notice to call the IRS or send a written explanation letter.

After the appeal period passes, you generally can’t stop the lock in. If your withholding status changes, such as your number of dependents, you can call the IRS to request an adjustment.

If the IRS agrees to change your withholding, it will send a letter to your employer. Your employer can’t change your withholding until receiving the IRS letter.

How long does an IRS lock in letter last?

Lock in letters usually last for at least three years. After three years have passed, you can contact the IRS to remove the lock in letter.

If the IRS agrees to remove your lock in letter, they will send a letter to your employer. Your employer can’t change your withholding before receiving the letter.

When will the IRS remove or change your lock in letter?

The IRS will generally only remove or change your lock in letter if you can show why the withholding status they chose is incorrect.

You may need information such as your Form W-4 and worksheets, recent pay stubs, last tax return, and Social Security Numbers and birthdays for your dependents.

What is the IRS lock in letter removal phone number?

The IRS lock in letter removal phone number is 855-839-2235.

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