William and Penny Landvogt - Page 9

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          See sec. 301.6404-2T(b)(1), Temporary Proced. & Admin. Regs., 52            
          Fed. Reg. 30163 (Aug. 13, 1987).  The mere passage of time does             
          not establish error or delay in performing a ministerial act.               
          Lee v. Commissioner, supra at 150.                                          
               When Congress enacted section 6404(e), Congress did not                
          intend that taxpayers use the provision to routinely avoid the              
          payment of interest.  Rather, Congress intended abatement of                
          interest only where failure to do so “would be widely perceived             
          as grossly unfair.”  H. Rept. 99-426, at 844 (1985), 1986-3 C.B.            
          (Vol. 2) 1, 844; S. Rept. 99-313, at 208 (1986), 1986-3 C.B.                
          (Vol. 3) 1, 208.  Section 6404(e) affords a taxpayer relief only            
          if no significant aspect of the error or delay can be attributed            
          to the taxpayer.  In addition, interest may be abated only after            
          the Commissioner has contacted the taxpayer in writing about the            
          deficiency or payment in question.6  See sec. 6404(e).                      
               This Court may order an abatement of interest if                       
          respondent’s failure to abate interest was an abuse of                      
          discretion.  Sec. 6404(h).  In order to prove an abuse of                   
          discretion, petitioners must show that respondent exercised                 
          discretion arbitrarily, capriciously, or without sound basis in             
          fact or law.  Rule 142(a)(1); Woodral v. Commissioner, 112 T.C.             

               6In this case, respondent’s first contact with petitioners             
          was the June 14, 1994, letter.                                              

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