David Bruce Billings - Page 18

                                       - 18 -                                         
               We similarly continue to adhere to our reading in Ewing I of           
          the amendment’s legislative history as focused on the proper time           
          for a taxpayer to request innocent spouse relief from the IRS.              
          See Ewing I, 118 T.C. at 504.  But, though “the amendment was               
          certainly all about timing [it] was also all about deficiencies.            
          So it simply reinforces the idea that the elections in                      
          subsections (b) and (c) are also all about deficiencies.”8  The             
          amendment’s history shows no indication that Congress was                   
          thinking about nondeficiency relief under subsection (f) at all.            
          And, whatever the merits of using legislative history to overcome           
          the plain language of a statute, the merits of using the absence            
          of legislative history to overcome the plain language of the                
          statute must necessarily be weaker.9  Reasoning that a partial              
          repeal of our jurisdiction would have to be in the legislative              

               8  Camp, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” 108 Tax Notes              
          359, 368 (2005).                                                            
               9 The taxpayer in Bartman noted in oral argument that there            
          is a presumption against implied repeals of federal jurisdiction,           
          citing, for example, United States v. Lahey Clinic Hosp., Inc.,             
          399 F.3d 1, 9 (1st Cir. 2005).  See                                         
          http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/oralargs/oaFrame.html (case no. 04-             
          2771).  But that presumption is an application of the more                  
          general presumption disfavoring implied repeal of one statute by            
          another--a presumption irrelevant here because it would amount to           
          using old section 6015(e) to rewrite the amendment, and one                 
          should not use a “statute that no longer is on the books to                 
          defeat the plain language of an effective statute.”  Am. Bank &             
          Trust Co. v. Dallas County, 463 U.S. 855, 872-873 (1983); see               
          also 1A Sutherland Statutes and Statutory Construction, sec.                
          23:12 (6th ed.)(irreconcilable prior provision must yield to                

Page:  Previous  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  Next

Last modified: May 25, 2011