How should I respond to an IRS correction notice?

IRS uses approximately three hundred computer generated form letters to notify taxpayers of various alleged errors. Most of us just accept the letter and pay the tax. Yet you don’t have to agree with the allegation in the letter, and there is an embarrassingly simple way to defeat an IRS correction notice.

Successfully defeating a correction notice is easy and automatic. Under code section 6213(b)(2) you have sixty days from the date of the correction notice to send a request for abatement, and the IRS must abate the assessment if you do this right. Period.

If after receiving your request, the IRS really wants to pursue the issue with you, they can, but it must be pursued through the normal deficiency process. And if this occurs, you can challenge the IRS again through other means. However, in at least half of the cases where the taxpayer challenges the correction notice with an automatic request for abatement, the IRS just goes away.

Fair Warning. Do not call the IRS. You must write them or you can expect to be frustrated and left without relief from the problem. Put the request in writing and send it certified mail. Make copies, too! The IRS loses stuff all the time.

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