David Bruce Billings - Page 14

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                    time for a taxpayer to submit a request to                        
                    the Commissioner for relief under section                         
                    6015 regarding underreported taxes.                               
          Id. at 505.                                                                 
               On appeal, the Commissioner changed his mind about the                 
          proper construction of the new language.  The Ninth Circuit                 
          agreed with him (and the dissent in Ewing I) that the first step            
          in our reasoning--finding that the amendment to section 6015(e)             
          was ambiguous--violated "the basic principle of statutory                   
          construction that ‘a statute ought, upon the whole, to be so                
          construed that, if it can be prevented, no clause, sentence, or             
          word shall be superfluous, void, or insignificant.'"  Ewing, 439            
          F.3d at 1014.  It concluded that “the Tax Court lacked                      
          jurisdiction because no deficiency had been asserted.”  Id. at              
          1013.  In Bartman, the Eighth Circuit adopted the Ninth Circuit’s           
          holding, though in doing so, it may have been somewhat imprecise            
          in its use of the terms “assertion,” “determination”, and                   
          “assessment” of a deficiency.  Id. at 787 (Tax Court has                    
          jurisdiction over section 6015 petitions “only where a deficiency           
          has been asserted”); id. (Tax Court has no jurisdiction over                
          section 6015 petitions “where no deficiency has been determined             
          by the IRS”); id. at 788 (no Tax Court jurisdiction “because no             
          deficiency had been assessed against Bartman”).7                            

               7 We construe Bartman’s holding to be the sentence “We agree           
          with the Ninth Circuit that the tax court lacks jurisdiction                

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