John Maier III - Page 12

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          Court a joint petition for redetermination challenging a joint              
          notice of deficiency for the taxable year 1981.  After obtaining            
          separate counsel, the electing spouse filed an amendment to the             
          petition asserting her entitlement to relief from joint and                 
          several liability under former section 6013(e).  After both                 
          taxpayers entered into separate stipulations with the                       
          Commissioner conceding an income tax deficiency of $21,711 and              
          the application of increased interest under section 6621(c), the            
          Commissioner entered into a further stipulation with the electing           
          spouse granting her relief from joint and several liability under           
          section 6015(c).  Upon learning of the second stipulation, the              
          nonelecting spouse declined to execute a stipulated decision for            
          submission to the Court, prompting the Commissioner to file a               
          motion for entry of decision.  In denying the Commissioner’s                
          motion, the Court stated:                                                   
                    Section 6015(e)(1) is structured so that                          
               administrative consideration (or failure to rule) will                 
               precede any court action when innocent spouse status is                
               raised in a stand alone petition.  Section 6015(g)(2),                 
               in turn, contemplates an opportunity for the                           
               nonelecting spouse to participate at the administrative                
               level.  Section 6015(e)(4) then speaks of a similar                    
               chance for participation should the matter move from an                
               administrative to a judicial forum. Hence, as a general                
               premise, we believe that these subsections, when read                  
               together, reveal a concern on the part of the lawmakers                
               with fairness to the nonelecting spouse and with                       
               providing him or her an opportunity to be heard on                     
               innocent spouse issues.  Presumably, the purpose of                    
               affording to the nonelecting spouse an opportunity to                  
               be heard first in administrative proceedings and then                  
               in judicial proceedings is to ensure that innocent                     
               spouse relief is granted on the merits after taking                    
               into account all relevant evidence. After all, easing                  

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