David Bruce Billings - Page 11

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          this new section whose words seemed on their face to expand our             
          jurisdiction had an esoteric meaning that shrank it instead.  We            
          disagreed, looking instead at the class of those covered by the             
          language of the section--individuals who elect to have subsection           
          (b) or (c) apply--and finding nothing in either section 6015(e)'s           
          language or its legislative history "that precludes our review of           
          the Commissioner's denial of equitable relief pursuant to section           
          6015(f) where the taxpayer has made the requisite election for              
          relief pursuant to section 6015(b) or (c)."  Butler, 114 T.C. at            
               Just a short time later, we decided Fernandez v.                       
          Commissioner, 114 T.C. 324 (2000).  Fernandez, unlike Butler, was           
          a "stand-alone" case; i.e., one in which the claim for innocent             
          spouse relief was not raised as a defense to a deficiency but by            
          itself.5  In Fernandez, we held that section 6015(e) also gave us           
          jurisdiction over a stand-alone petition to review the                      
          Commissioner's denial of relief under section 6015(f):                      
                         We first look to the prefatory language                      
                    contained in section 6015(e)(1) which states:                     
                    "in the case of an individual who elects to                       
                    have subsection (b) or (c) apply."  We                            
                    conclude that this language does not contain                      

                         determine the appropriate relief                             
                         available to the individual under this                       
                         section if such petition is filed * * *                      
               5 The Commissioner actually had asserted a deficiency                  
          against Fernandez, though our opinion in the case wasn’t clear on           
          the point.  See Ewing I, 118 T.C. at 500.                                   

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