Edward H. and Anne G. Harrell - Page 15

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               Petitioners claim that RC Stanley had extensive involvement            
          with petitioners’ case at the collection phase and provided                 
          assistance to AO Petrohovich.  Petitioners argue that RC                    
          Stanley’s communications with AO Petrohovich “jeopardized Appeals           
          Officer Petrohovich’s impartiality as a hearing officer, which              
          denied * * * [petitioners] a fair hearing and opportunity to have           
          a meaningful appeal of the denial of the * * * Offer in                     
               Petitioners request a new section 6330 hearing with an                 
          impartial Appeals officer.                                                  
          III.  Analysis                                                              
               As stated above, the parties agree that the underlying                 
          liabilities are no longer at issue.  The parties disagree about             
          two main points:  (1) The impartiality of AO Martin, and (2)                
          whether AO Martin abused her discretion in determining that the             
          communications between AO Petrohovich and RC Stanley did not                
          violate petitioners’ rights.                                                
               A.  Impartiality of Appeals Officer Martin                             
               Section 6330(b)(3) provides:                                           
               (3) Impartial officer.--The hearing under this                         
               subsection shall be conducted by an officer or employee                
               who has had no prior involvement with respect to the                   
               unpaid tax specified in subsection (a)(3)(A) before the                
               first hearing under this section or section 6320. A                    
               taxpayer may waive the requirement of this paragraph.                  
          The operative terms of section 6330(b)(3) provide that                      
          “impartial” concerns the Appeals officer’s prior involvement with           

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