Merry J. Chandler - Page 7

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          underlying tax liability is properly at issue, we review the                
          determination de novo.  E.g., Goza v. Commissioner, 114 T.C. 176,           
          181-182 (2000).  Where the underlying tax liability is not at               
          issue, we review the determination for abuse of discretion.  Id.            
          at 182.  Whether an abuse of discretion has occurred depends upon           
          whether the exercise of discretion is without sound basis in fact           
          or law.  See Ansley-Sheppard-Burgess Co. v. Commissioner, 104               
          T.C. 367, 371 (1995).                                                       
          II.  Arguments of the Parties                                               
               Petitioner argues that, because petitioner was not granted a           
          face-to-face interview, Mr. McNichol abused his discretion by               
          determining that collection of the unpaid liabilities by levy was           
          proper.  Respondent answers that petitioner received an adequate            
          hearing by telephone and exchange of correspondence and declined            
          a face-to-face interview when, on October 12, 2001, such an                 
          interview was offered.                                                      
          III.  Discussion                                                            
               We decide whether, before Appeals determined to proceed by             
          levy with collection of the unpaid liabilities, Appeals Officer             
          McNichol accorded petitioner a fair hearing, as required by                 
          section 6330(b)(1).  Procedures for the conduct of collection due           
          process hearings are set forth in section 301.6330-1(d), Proced.            
          & Admin. Regs.  As set forth above, section 301.6330-1(d), Q&A-D6           
          and D7, Proced. & Admin. Regs., provides that, although a                   

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