You must find out if the statute of limitations on your lien has expired or not. The IRS is given ten years to collect the due taxes from you. The ten year period begins when they create an assessment on their computers. This is done six weeks after the filing of returns. The lien is automatically released once the statute period expires. However, the IRS does not send out the release. You need to ask from them a copy of it. You can also fax them for a hard copy of the release of federal tax lien.
To begin with, do not let the federal tax lien be filed against you. Ask for a hearing immediately from the IRS when they send the Notice of Intent of Filing. Doing so would at least cause delay of its possible filing. Just do not forget to give them a valid reason why the filing of the lien must not push through.
These are just some of the ways to release federal tax liens and even avoiding it. The most guaranteed way though is paying the back taxes, and any fees and interest along with it. If you do this, your credit report would be clean again.