Linda Mitchell - Page 10

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          evidence on the record and does not constitute an error or delay            
          caused by respondent in performing a ministerial act.                       
          Inability To Pay                                                            
               Petitioner also argues that she is struggling financially              
          and unable to pay the accrued interest.  First, the taxpayer’s              
          inability to pay is not a condition that would allow the                    
          Secretary to abate the interest assessment as it does not involve           
          a ministerial act of respondent.  See sec. 6404(e); sec.                    
          301.6404-2(b)(2), Proced. & Admin. Regs.  Second, at trial,                 
          petitioner contradicted herself by disputing the alleged                    
          inability to pay and questioned why her account was placed in 53            
          status because she had been paying off the 1994 deficiency and              
          penalty; we can infer from her questioning that she does have the           
          ability to pay.6  We interpret petitioner’s argument to arise out           
          of her confusion as to respondent’s classification of her account           
          with 53 status.                                                             
               An account may be placed in 53 status for a variety of                 
          reasons.  See 2 Administration, Internal Revenue Manual (CCH),              
          sec. at 17,803.  At trial, the Appeals officer testified           
          that it appeared that petitioner’s account was reported as 53               

               6  At trial, petitioner testified to the following:  “I                
          demonstrated an ability to pay when I paid the other prior                  
          things, the prior bills in the order and decision from the                  

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