Robert A. and M. Faye Strang - Page 5

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               Petitioners’ request for abatement of interest is based upon           
          section 6404(e)(1).  Section 6404(e)(1) provides that the                   
          Commissioner may abate interest on any payment of tax to the                
          extent that any delay in payment is attributable to unreasonable            
          error or delay by an officer or employee of the IRS in performing           
          a ministerial act.2  The term “ministerial act” is defined as “a            
          procedural or mechanical act that does not involve the exercise             
          of judgment or discretion, and that occurs during the processing            
          of a taxpayer’s case after all prerequisites to the act, such as            
          conferences and review by supervisors, have taken place.”  Sec.             
          301.6404-2T(b)(1), Temporary Proced. & Admin. Regs., 52 Fed. Reg.           
          30163 (Aug. 13, 1987).3                                                     
               Congress intended for the Commissioner to abate interest               
          “where failure to abate interest would be widely perceived as               
          grossly unfair.”  H. Rept. 99-426, at 844 (1985), 1986-3 C.B.               
          (Vol. 2) 1, 844; S. Rept. 99-313, at 208 (1986), 1986-3 C.B.                

               2    In 1996, sec. 6404(e) was amended under sec. 301 of               
          TBOR2, Pub. L. 104-168, 110 Stat. 1457 (1996), to permit the                
          Commissioner to abate interest with respect to an “unreasonable”            
          error or delay resulting from “managerial” and ministerial acts.            
          This amendment, however, applies to interest accruing with                  
          respect to deficiencies or payments for tax years beginning after           
          July 30, 1996.  Therefore, the amendment is inapplicable to the             
          instant case.  See Woodral v. Commissioner, 112 T.C. 19, 25 n.8             
               3    The final regulation under sec. 6404, as issued on Dec.           
          18, 1998, contains the same definition of ministerial act.  The             
          final regulation generally applies to interest accruing on                  
          deficiencies or payments of tax for taxable years beginning after           
          July 30, 1996.  See sec. 301.6404-2(b)(2), Proced. & Admin. Regs.           

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