Thomas Edward Vanstone - Page 5

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               Pursuant to section 6404(e)(1), as it applies in this case,            
          the Commissioner may abate the assessment of interest on:  (1)              
          Any deficiency attributable to any error or delay by an officer             
          or employee of the Internal Revenue Service in performing a                 
          ministerial act or (2) any payment of any tax described in                  
          section 6212(a) to the extent that any error or delay in such               
          payment is attributable to such officer or employee being                   
          erroneous or dilatory in performing a ministerial act.  An error            
          or delay is taken into account only (1) if no significant aspect            
          of such error or delay can be attributed to the taxpayer, and (2)           
          after the IRS has contacted the taxpayer in writing with respect            
          to such deficiency or payment.  Sec. 6404(e)(1).2                           
               The Department of the Treasury has interpreted a ministerial           
          act to be:                                                                  
               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.  A decision concerning the proper                    
               application of federal tax law (or other federal or state              
               law) is not a ministerial act.                                         

          2  In 1996, sec. 6404(e) was amended by sec. 301(a) of the                  
          Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2, Pub. L. 104-168, 110 Stat. 1457                  
          (1996), to permit the Commissioner to abate interest with respect           
          to “unreasonable” errors or delays resulting from “managerial”              
          acts as well as from ministerial acts.  This amendment applies to           
          interest accruing with respect to deficiencies or payments for              
          tax years beginning after July 30, 1996.  Id. sec. 301(c);                  
          Woodral v. Commissioner, 112 T.C. 19, 25 n.8 (1999).  The                   
          amendment therefore is inapplicable in this case.                           

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