Saturday, January 18, 2014

Supreme Court Grants Cert to Consider Summons Opponent's Right to Question IRS Personnel re Reason for Summons (1/18/14)

The Supreme Court granted certiorari in United States v. Clarke, 517 Fed. Appx. 689, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 7773 (11th Cir. 2013), here.  See the SCOTUS Blog on the case, here, which on an ongoing basis reports the Supreme Court developments in the case and has links to the briefs.  I previously reported on the Government's petition for writ of certiorari.  See Is a Party Entitled to a Hearing in a Summons Enforcement Case Based Solely on Allegations of Improper Purpose? (12/13/13), here.

The question presented, per the Government's petition, is:
Whether an unsupported allegation that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issue a summons for an improper purpose entitles an opponent of the summons to an evidentiary hearing to question IRS officials about their reasons for issuing the summons.
The Eleventh Circuit's opinion in Clarke and its predecessor opinions gave the opponent that right.  The other circuits do not give the opponent that right, but require that opponents develop their proof of improper purpose some other way.

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