General Accounting Office studies have shown that IRS correction notices are wrong half the time. The common correction notices include claims that made an error in your return, that you failed to file a return or underreported the income in your return. If you get a correct notice from the IRS that you do not understand, there is a good chance it was issued in error.

To prevent paying tax and penalties you do not owe, respond in writing to the notice using certified mail. Ask that the notice be canceled. Respond within the time stated on the notice to avoid any enforced collection action. As long as you are communicating with the IRS to resolve the issue, the chances of lien, levy or property seizure are greatly diminished.

If you have proof that IRS’s claims in the notice are incorrect, send the proof via certified mail to the address shown and to the person indicated on the notice. If the IRS ignores your proof, you have the right to appeal that notice just as you have the right to appeal an auditor decision. To appeal a notice you must prepare and send a protest letter asking that the decision be re-examined.