Stanley R. Harbaugh and Bonnie L. Harbaugh - Page 9

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               Finally, the ACS employee did not have the authority to                
          compromise petitioners’ liabilities.  Deleg. Order No. 11 (Rev.             
          24), 1994-2 C.B. 550.  It is the responsibility of the person               
          entering into an agreement with an employee of the IRS to                   
          ascertain that the employee stays within the bounds of her                  
          authority.  Boulez v. Commissioner, 810 F.2d 209, 218 (D.C. Cir.            
          1987), affg. 76 T.C. 209 (1981).  A compromise agreement made by            
          an employee lacking the requisite authority is not binding on the           
          Commissioner.  Id.                                                          
               We therefore conclude that petitioner and the ACS employee             
          did not reach a valid agreement to compromise petitioners’ tax              
          liabilities during the first or second call.                                
          Abatement of Interest                                                       
               We now decide whether respondent abused his discretion by              
          refusing to abate interest on petitioners’ liabilities.                     
               Section 6404(e)(1)(B) provides that the Commissioner may               
          abate all or any part of an assessment of interest on any payment           
          of certain taxes if an error or delay in such payment is                    
          attributable to an officer or employee of the IRS being                     
          “erroneous or dilatory in performing a ministerial act”.7  A                

               7 Congress amended sec. 6404(e) in 1996 to permit abatement            
          of interest for “unreasonable” error or delay in performing a               
          ministerial or “managerial” act.  Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2, Pub.           
          L. 104-168, sec. 301(a), 110 Stat. 1457 (1996).  That standard              
          applies only to tax years beginning after July 30, 1996, and thus           
          does not apply in the present case.  Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2,             

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