Lock-In Letters

If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) determines that you do not have enough federal income tax withheld, they will instruct your employer to increase your withholding tax amount. This instruction, done through a Lock-in Letter from the IRS, specifies the withholding arrangement permitted for you.

At the direction of the IRS, OPA will automatically change your federal tax withholding amount according to the amount dictated by the IRS Lock-In Letter. The letter will be sent to your agency, which will give you a copy. Your exemption amount or marital status is then "locked-in" until OPA receives notification from the IRS.

Subsequent withholding changes initiated by you will be processed only if you submit a new Form W-4 that results in more withholding than specified in the Lock-in Letter. If you initiate changes to your Form W-4 that would result in less withholdings, OPA, in accordance with IRS guidelines, will not process those changes.

If you receive a Lock-in Letter and have questions about your withholding status, you must contact the IRS or NYS directly.

Learn more about Withholding Compliance and Lock-in Letters on the IRS website.