Audrey J. Walton - Page 15

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               own construction on the statute, as would be necessary                 
               in the absence of an administrative interpretation.                    
               Rather, if the statute is silent or ambiguous with                     
               respect to the specific issue, the question for the                    
               court is whether the agency’s answer is based on a                     
               permissible construction of the statute.  [Chevron                     
               U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council,                     
               Inc., supra at 842-843; fn. refs. omitted.]                            
          A challenged regulation is not considered such a permissible                
          construction or reasonable interpretation unless it harmonizes              
          both with the statutory language and with the statute’s origin              
          and purpose.  See United States v. Vogel Fertilizer Co., supra at           
          25-26; National Muffler Dealers Association v. United States, 440           
          U.S. 472, 477 (1979) (National Muffler).                                    
               We pause to note that before the Chevron standard of review            
          was enunciated by the Supreme Court, the traditional standard was           
          simply “whether the regulation harmonizes with the plain language           
          of the statute, its origin, and its purpose”, as prescribed by              
          the Supreme Court in National Muffler Dealers Association v.                
          United States, supra at 477.  As we have observed in a previous             
          case, the opinion of the Supreme Court in Chevron failed to cite            
          National Muffler and may have established a different formulation           
          of the standard of review.  See Central Pa. Sav. Association v.             
          Commissioner, 104 T.C. 384, 390-391 (1995).  In the case before             
          us, we conclude that it is unnecessary to parse the semantics of            
          the two tests to discern any substantive difference between them,           
          because the result here would be the same under either.                     

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