The IRS will issue a Release of the Notice of Federal Tax Lien:
- Within 30 days of your satisfaction of total tax due (including interest, penalties and any other additions) by paying the debt or by having it adjusted, or
- Within 30 days of receipt of a bond that you submit guaranteeing payment of the debt.
You must also pay all fees that a state or other jurisdiction charges to file and release the lien. Refer to IRS Publication 1450 [hyperlink to http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1450.pdf, Request for Release of Federal Tax Lien.
Usually 10 years after a tax is assessed, the lien automatically releases unless the IRS files it again. If the IRS does knowingly or negligently fail to release a Notice of Federal Tax Lien when it should be released, you may sue the federal government (but not IRS employees) for damages.
A Notice of Federal Tax Lien is a seriously negative listing on your credit report.