Tax Court Could Review Interest Abatement Issues, but Not Collection Actions: More Information Needed on Innocent Spouse Issues (Gray, TC)

The Tax Court, addressing an IRS motion to dismiss an individual’s petition for lack of jurisdiction, held that it lacked jurisdiction to review an IRS determination as to collection actions, but had jurisdiction to hear an interest abatement issue, and needed more information to determine if it had jurisdiction to hear an innocent spouse issue. The taxpayer was subject to collection actions by the IRS, and was denied relief by the IRS on the three issues addressed at her Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing under Code Sec. 6330.

Her Tax Court petition was postmarked one day beyond the 30-day period for appeal from the IRS determination to proceed with collection actions under Code Sec. 6330, so the court lacked jurisdiction to review that determination. Her innocent spouse claim was raised at the CDP hearing, but the period of limitations for such claims is 90 days, not 30 days, pursuant to Code Sec. 6015(e)(1). Further development was required to determine if the court had jurisdiction to review the innocent spouse claim.

Finally, the taxpayer’s claim for interest abatement was made at her CDP hearing, and the IRS’s determination following that hearing addressed that issue. It was not necessary that the claim be made at a stand-alone hearing under Code Sec. 6404, as the Tax Court’s jurisdiction to hear interest abatement claims at CDP hearings was well-established. Code Sec. 6404(h) confers jurisdiction on the court independent of Code Sec. 6330, and the period of limitations under Code Sec. 6404(h)(1) is 180 days, making the taxpayer’s petition timely with respect to that claim.

C.D. Gray, 138 TC –, No. 13, Dec. 59,004

Other References:

Code Sec. 6015

CCH Reference – 2012FED ¶35,192.815

Code Sec. 6330

CCH Reference – 2012FED ¶38,184.50

Code Sec. 6404

CCH Reference – 2012FED ¶38,580.40

Tax Research Consultant

CCH Reference – TRC IRS: 33,410

CCH Reference –
TRC LITIG: 6,130

CCH Reference – TRC LITIG: 6,136.25


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