Leading Tax Procedure Cases (In Process)

The purpose of this page is to provide links to what I consider to be major tax procedure cases.  The links are to a service called CaseText, a free service, that not only provides the case text but some analytical tools, often offered by practitioners (at least that is the goal of the relatively new service).

This will be a work in process.  I will populate it over time.  So bear with me.  Also, in any case, it is a subjective list.  Most practitioners of the art would likely agree with 90% of the cases as being leading tax cases.  Some may only be leading in my imagination.

Badaracco v. Commissioner, 464 U.S. 386 1984), here. Badaracco held that, under Section 6501(c)(1), here, once an original fraudulent return is filed, the unlimited statute of limitations applies even if the taxpayer thereafter files a nonfraudulent amended return.

Estate of Branson v. Commissioner, 264 F.3d 904 (9th Cir. 2001), here.  Estate of Branson held that the Tax Court does have jurisdiction to consider equitable recoupment to offset a current year's tax for related taxes paid erroneously in an otherwise barred year.  During this period, there was uncertainty as to whether the Tax Court had jurisdiction to consider equitable concepts that might be applied in refund litigation in the district court.  This issue is now resolved in favor of allowing the Tax Court to consider such concepts.

United States v. Brockamp, 519 U.S. 347 (1997), here.  Brockamp held that there is no equitable tolling of the statutes of limitations on refund claims in Section 6511(a) and (b), here.  The reason is that, although some claims against the U.S. may allow for equitable tolling of the statute of limitations, the refund claims provisions do not because, given their nature and the scheme of the provisions, Congress did not intend to equitable tolling to apply.

United States v. Caceres, 440 U.S. 741 (1979), here.  Caceres held that, generally, administrative pronouncements and requirements in the IRS's Internal Revenue Manual confer no rights on taxpayers.

United States v. Home Concrete, ___ U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 1836 (2012), here.  Home Concrete held that basis enhancement tax shelters which achieve the tax benefit by basis enhancement rather than income omission do not give rise to omissions of income for purposes of the 25% omission of gross income text for the 6-year statute of limitations in § 6501(e)(1)(A), here.  (Note that Home Concrete has been legislatively overruled so that such basis enhancement shelters are subject to the 25% omisison test for six-year statute of limitations § 6501(e)(1)(A).

International Business Machines Corp. v. United States, 343 F.2d 914 (Ct. Cl. 1965), here, cert. denied, 382 U.S. 1028 (1966) held that, in narrow circumstances, more favorable treatment by private letter ruling to a competitor can require that the IRS give the same treatment to the taxpayer.

King v. Burwell, ___ U.S. ___, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 4248 (2015), here.  King upheld the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); in doing so, the Supreme Court held that Chevron deference did not apply because, given the importance of the legislative provision to the overall complex statutory arrangement, it could not be assumed that Congress meant to delegate interpretive authority to the IRS.

Manhattan General Equipment Co. v. Commissioner, 297 US 129 (1936), here.  Manhattan General held that regulations interpreting a statute could be retroactive to the date the statute was enacted.  The crisp holding of Manhattan General is subject to Chevron and its progeny and to § 7805(b) that determines the retroactivity of regulations.

Mayo Foundation for Medical Research v. United States, 562 U.S. 44 (2011), here.  Mayo is a key case interpreting the deference due IRS regulations since Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U.S. 837 (1984), here.  Chevron and related cases held that Federal agency administrative pronouncements, particularly in the form of regulations, are entitled to deference in interpreting the statutes involved in the pronouncements.  Mayo Foundation held that Chevron and related deference applies to federal tax administration.

United States v. Mead Corp., 533 U.S. 218 (2001), here.  Mead discussed the application of Chevron deference to agency interpretations of lesser authority than regulations.

National Muffler Dealers Association v. United States, 440 U.S. 472 (1979), here.  National Muffer was the standard of deference for IRS regulations until Chevron, supra, which was held to apply to IRS regulations in Mayo Foundation, supra.

Principal Life Insurance Company v. United States, 95 Fed. Cl. 786, 788 (2010), here.  A tour de force by a great judge covering a lot of ground covered in a Tax Procedure Class (at least my class).

Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 U.S. 134 (1944), here.  Skidmore held that agency interpretations not subject to Chevron deference could be subject to a lesser form of deference, commonly referred to generically as Skidmore deference.

Williams v. Commissioner, 114 T.C. 136 (2000), here.