Sunday, September 11, 2016

Tax Procedure Book Errata - Special Flora Mitigation Procedures for Certain Assessable Penalties (9/11/16)

I will revise the book to insert the following with respect to certain assessable penalties -- the return preparer penalties under § 6694 and the penalties under 6700-6703.  These penalties are assessable without predicate notice of deficiency or other such procedures permitting litigation before assessment.  Those penalties can be litigated in a traditional refund suit which will be subject to Flora's full payment rule.  The Flora full payment rule is mitigated in many contexts (included this context) by the divisible tax rule that would apply if the penalties are divisible.  There is another special Flora full payment mitigation rule applying to these penalties.  That mitigation rule is as follows:
This mitigation rule requires that (i) within 30 days of the assessment’s notice and demand, the person assessed the penalty pay 15% of the penalty and file a claim for refund and (ii) then file the refund suit in district court by the earlier of (a) 30 days from the denial of the claim or (b) 6 months and 30 days from the date the refund claim was filed.  If the taxpayer pursues this special district remedy, collection procedures on the balance will be suspended and the statute of limitations on collection will also be suspended.  [See § 6694(c) as to the preparer penalties and §§ 6703(c) as to the §§ 6700-6702 penalties.]
In addition, to the special procedure for partial payment and suit for refund, penalties subject to this special mitigation rule may be litigated in CDP procedures.

I have not yet incorporated these into the current working draft for the next version in 2017, but it will be included in that version.

I picked up the need for this revision from Taylor v. Commissioner, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122216 (ED WA 2016), applying the rule to the § 6694 penalty.  In Taylor, the preparer timely paid the 15% and filed the claim for refund.  The denial of the claim was almost two years later.  By the time of denial of the claim, the period for filing the suit for refund for the special procedure had expired. The time for filing that suit was 6 months and thirty days after the filing of the claim for refund.

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