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Understanding your 2800C Letter

We sent you this letter because we believe your employee may have filed an incorrect Form W-4, Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate.  

What you need to do

Begin withholding income tax from this employee's wages based on the following withholding rates, effective 60 days from the date of this letter:  

  • Withholding rate (marital status): single
  • Withholding allowances:  0000   

You may want to…

  • Search keyword "withholding compliance" for more information on income tax withholding
  • Download the following materials:
    • Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide  
    • Publication 51 (Circular A), Agricultural Employer's Tax Guide

Answers to Common Questions

If the IRS determines that an employee doesn’t have enough federal income tax withheld, what will you ask an employer to do?
If we determine that an employee doesn’t have enough withholding, we’ll send you a lock-in letter that specifies the maximum number of withholding allowances permitted for the employee. You must withhold tax as indicated in the lock-in letter by the date specified unless we notify you otherwise. This date is 60 days after the date of the lock-in letter. Once a lock-in rate is effective, an employer can’t decrease withholding unless the IRS approves it.

You’ll also receive a copy of the letter to give to the employee. If the employee no longer works for you, you don’t need to do anything. However, if the employee returns to work within 12 months, you should begin withholding income tax from the employee’s wages based on the withholding rate in the letter.

The letter will explain how the employee can provide additional information to help us determine the appropriate number of withholding exemptions. We’ll give the employee some time before the lock-in rate is effective to submit a new Form W-4 and a statement that supports the claims made on it. The employee must send the Form W-4 and the statement to the IRS address as shown on this webpage.

If an employer no longer has to submit Forms W-4 claiming complete exemption from withholding or claiming more than 10 allowances, how does the IRS determine adequate withholding?
We‘re more effectively using information in our records and reported on Form W-2 wage statements to ensure that employees have enough federal income tax withheld.

After I lock in withholding on an employee, what do I do if I receive a revised Form W-4 from the employee?
You must disregard any Form W-4 that decreases the amount of withholding. The employee must submit for IRS approval any new Form W-4 and a statement that supports his or her request to decrease federal income tax withholding. The employee should send the Form W-4 and statement to the address on the lock-in letter. We’ll notify you if we approve the employee’s request. However, if the employee submits a Form W-4 that claims fewer withholding allowances than the maximum number specified in the lock-in letter, you must increase withholding based on that Form W-4.

As an employer who has received a modification letter (Letter 2808C) from the Withholding Compliance Program, do I wait for another 60 days to change the marital status or number of allowances as indicated in the modification letter?
The changes to the marital status or number of allowances become effective immediately upon receipt of the Letter 2808C.

Our employees can submit or change their Forms W-4 on line. How can I prevent them from changing their Forms W-4 after the IRS has locked them in?
You’ll need to block employees who have been locked-in from using an on-line Form W-4 system to decrease their withholding.

How to get help

  • Call toll free 1-855-839-2235 weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
  • Send a fax to 1-855-202-8300
  • Write to:

    Internal Revenue Service
    Compliance Services
    Withholding Compliance Unit
    P.O. Box 9047, Stop 837
    Andover, MA 01810-0947
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 06-Jan-2016