Monday, August 22, 2016

Tax Procedure Book Errata - Correction Related to Abatement of Erroneous Assessment (8/22/16)

Delete the entire section (1 paragraph) in Chapter 6 at V. Abatements of Erroneous Asessments (at p. 240 of the Practitioner edition and p. 167 of the Student edition substituting in its place the following (note that the footnote numbers may not tie to the current editions):

V. Abatements of Erroneous Assessments.

Section 6404(a) authorizes the IRS to abate an assessment of tax (or liability) which is “(1) is excessive in amount, or (2) is assessed after the expiration of the period of limitation properly applicable thereto, or (3) is erroneously or illegally assessed.”  All of these alternatives seem straight-forward.  For example, if the taxpayer has been assessed $100 in tax or interest but shows that the correct tax or interest liability is $50 rather than the $100 assessed, under subparagraph (1), the IRS can abate the excessive $50 amount assessed. n848
   n848 In King v. Commissioner, ___ F.3d ___, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13269 (7th Cir. 2016), dealing with abatement of interest rather than tax, the Seventh Circuit reversed the Tax Court’s holding that “excessive” could mean “unfair.”  The Court cited several reasons, including the indeterminancy of the concept of “unfair” and the Chevron appropriate regulation saying that, in the context of tax, “excessive” means "in excess of the correct tax liability,” with the conclusion that, as to interest, it must mean in excess of the correct interest.  See Regs. § 301.6404-1(a).

As noted above, however, the taxpayer still must claim his right to a refund timely, and, if he fails to do so, the statute of limitations on actually getting the refund will prevent the IRS from refunding the tax.  If for some reason, after the statute of limitations for refund has closed, the taxpayer establishes his or her right to an abatement, the IRS may make the abatement because there is no statute of limitations on abatement.n849  The problem, of course, is that the IRS cannot refund or credit the abated tax liability, if paid, to the taxpayer and, instead, the payments will be posted internally by the IRS to the Excess Collections File.
   n849 ILM 200915034 (3/2/2009), published at 2009 TNT 68-16.

No comments:

Post a Comment