Peter M. and Susan L. Hoffman - Page 10

          Accordingly, whether the assessment was made during the                     
          limitations period is reviewed de novo.                                     
          B.  Period of Limitations                                                   
               Section 6501(a) generally provides that a valid assessment             
          of income tax liability may not be made more than 3 years after             
          the later of the date the tax return was filed or the due date of           
          the tax return.3  This 3-year period as to petitioners’ 1990                
          taxable year expired before respondent assessed the statutory               
          additions at issue.4  In order for respondent’s assessment of the           
          statutory additions to be timely, an exception to the general               
          3-year period of limitations must apply.                                    
               1.  Burden of Proof                                                    
               Petitioners contend that respondent assessed the relevant              
          amounts for 1990 after the expiration of the 3-year period of               
          limitations in section 6501(a).  The bar of the period of                   
          limitations is an affirmative defense, and the party raising this           

               3 Sec. 6501 provides in pertinent part as follows:                     
               SEC. 6501.  LIMITATIONS ON ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION.                  
                    (a) General Rule.-–Except as otherwise                            
               provided in this section, the amount of any tax imposed by             
               this title shall be assessed within 3 years after the return           
               was filed (whether or not such return was filed on or after            
               the date prescribed) * * * and no proceeding in court                  
               without assessment for the collection of such tax shall be             
               begun after expiration of such period. * * *                           
               4 The original return for 1990 was filed on Sept. 10, 1991,            
          and the assessments of penalties and interest were made on                  
          Nov. 6, 1997.                                                               

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