31 NewsQuarterly 1 (2011-2012)

handle is hein.journals/newsqtrly31 and id is 1 raw text is: Points to Remember


1 en the Servicets court successes n its over-three-year litigation project to
uphold the validity of the two-year limit it established for requesting equitable
innocent spouse relief under section 6015(f), it came as something of a pleasant
shock to see the Commissioner, on July 25, issue a notice announcing that the Service
woul d no longer seek to enforce that limit. See Notice 2011-70 2011-32 .R.B. 135.
But, for those following closely congressional displeasure with the rule's adverse
consequences for many low-income constituents, the capitulation, from Day One,
seemed almost inevitable. It was just a matter of when.
The first innocent spouse statute was enacted as section 6013(e) in 1971. Section
6013(e) had no time limit in it for requesting relief, and relief could be requested at any
time during the period the unpaid taxes could be assessed (usually three years after
return filing under section 6501) or collected (usually ten years after assessment under
section 6502) or through a refund claim that was timely under the two-year/three-year
refund claim periods of section 6511. Relief under section 6013(e) was usually raised
during an audit or in a pre-assessment Tax Court case, but, sometimes, it was raised in
(1) refund lawsuits in district court, (2) enforcement suits brought there by the govern-
ment under section 7401 or 7403 at any time before the expiration of the collection
period, or (3) during bankruptcy proceedings.
n 998, Congress thought section 6013(e) was inadequate both n covering too few
umstan   andin not hiavng apost-as sm  tbutpramtproedure for
hllin    ader   Sr       n   nTaCurtS      Corsrpea ed stion
6013(e)and r Iadi wit     tion 6015 Section 0 5 ndd upwiththr
substantiv subsections for relief Subsetion (b) relief was an epanded version of
setion 6013(e) relief, hut applied to any eroneous dficiency. Subsection (c r ef
alo owd adivorced or sparated spouse to Ilet out of jint liability forad dficinc
unles the Service culd prov the e etinig spous actually knew of the mrisreported
item  Subeti   f reif w    dirtiarycatchallthat one could rqust n
Sectlike b)or   ubsectio f) re ef va aailabl wheeth taxpayr a facin
ithe  deficie  l e    errerte Bax oranudn      vn      eamount shwe

Frmthe Cha r
Pro Bono Matters

Book Review
Pr  t oer sGu'de to nnocent
puse Reli ef Proven Strategies
nIni Secton 6015 Tax Cases

Identity Theft in Tax Administration 17
CLE Calendar                 20

Tax Bites

ue orte fac ofthe re   bute nt paid)a andthe sp       ua







not qua fy under

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