Estate of Gordon B. McLendon, Deceased, Gordon R. McLendon, Jr., Independent Executor - Page 9

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          we found the standard articulated in the ruling to be somewhat              
          vague relative to the approach taken by the courts addressing the           
          question.  Equally important, we did not feel bound to apply Rev.           
          Rul. 80-80, supra.  Absent exceptional circumstances, revenue               
          rulings are viewed as “merely an opinion of a lawyer in the                 
          agency”, they are not considered to have the effect of law, and             
          they are not binding on the Commissioner or the courts.  See sec.           
          6110(j)(3); Foil v. Commissioner, 920 F.2d 1196, 1201 (5th Cir.             
          1990), affg. 92 T.C. 376 (1989); Stubbs, Overbeck & Associates v.           
          United States, 445 F.2d 1142, 1146-1147 (5th Cir. 1971); Lucky              
          Stores, Inc. & Subs. v. Commissioner, 105 T.C. 420, 433 (1995);             
          Gordon v. Commissioner, 88 T.C. 630, 635-636 n.3 (1987); see also           
          Dickman v. Commissioner, 465 U.S. 330, 343 (1984).  Of course, a            
          revenue ruling may achieve the force of law when a statute has              
          been reenacted unchanged after the interpretation of the statute            
          in the ruling was expressly called to congressional attention.              
          See Estate of Lang v. Commissioner, 64 T.C. 404, 406-407 n.4                
          (1975), affd. in part and revd. in part 613 F.2d 770 (9th Cir.              
          1980).  In addition, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit             
          has held that a revenue ruling may be binding on the Commissioner           
          where a taxpayer relies on the ruling and there is not a statute,           

          443 F.2d 116 (5th Cir. 1971), the Court of Appeals for the Fifth            
          Circuit's most detailed discussion of the issue presented herein,           
          predated the issuance of Rev. Rul. 80-80, 1980-1 C.B. 194.                  

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