Garnett E. Thorpe - Page 13

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          not provide information specifying how each item giving rise to             
          the Thorpes’ 1997 tax liability should be allocated for purposes            
          of section 6015(d), but he stated that the tax liability should             
          be evenly divided between the spouses and furnished a divorce               
          decree to that effect.                                                      
               Petitioner’s statement on the Form 12153 sufficiently                  
          communicated the elements required under section 6015(c) and                
          should be considered a valid separate liability election.  The              
          Appeals officer’s refusal to consider petitioner’s request for              
          relief under section 6015(c) was based upon his absolute                    
          requirement that petitioner file a Form 8857 without regard to              
          whether petitioner filed an equivalent written request for                  
          relief.  Although petitioner plainly had requested relief from              
          joint and several liability on his Form 12153 and provided a copy           
          of his divorce decree requiring an even split of the tax                    
          liability, the Appeals officer declined to investigate the issue            
          further and instead suggested that petitioner take “recourse in             
          civil court” regardless of the cost and inconvenience of further            
          action in State courts.                                                     
               While the Appeals officer was not bound by the allocation              
          set forth in the divorce decree, the statement on petitioner’s              
          Form 12153, supplemented by the relevant portion of the divorce             
          decree, qualifies as a section 6015(c) election.  If petitioner             
          was not entitled to section 6015(c) relief according to the                 

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