Garnett E. Thorpe - Page 12

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          12153 was signed by petitioner under penalties of perjury but was           
          submitted while the section 6015 regulations still were in                  
          proposed form.  While proposed regulations may not be “competent            
          authority”, see Houston Oil & Minerals Corp. v. Commissioner, 92            
          T.C. 1331, 1388 (1989), affd. 922 F.2d 283 (5th Cir. 1991); F.W.            
          Woolworth Co. v. Commissioner, 54 T.C. 1233, 1265-1266 (1970),              
          here they may be useful as a guide in view of their adoption                
          approximately a year after petitioner completed his Form 12153.             
          Under these circumstances, we do not believe it is necessary or             
          appropriate for us to ignore the proposed regulations.                      
               In the absence of contrary authority defining an election              
          for section 6015(c) purposes, under the circumstances here, we              
          may consider petitioner’s statement on the Form 12153 as a valid            
          election if it sufficiently communicates the elements required              
          for relief under section 6015(c).                                           
               On the Form 12153, petitioner clearly stated that he was               
          seeking to separate joint and several liability on his 1997 joint           
          return.  The statement informed the Appeals officer that the                
          Thorpes were legally separated and provided Mrs. Thorpe’s Social            
          Security number and new address to allow the Appeals officer to             
          notify Mrs. Thorpe of her right to join the CDP hearing and                 
          intervene in petitioner’s section 6015(c) claim.  Petitioner did            

          12, 2002, requiring that “the income tax debt shall be split                
          equally between the parties”.                                               

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