David Bruce Billings - Page 42

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          recognizes,18 those terms are not synonymous in the Federal tax             

               despite the fact that no notice of deficiency had been                 
               issued.  Since briefing and oral argument in this case,                
               however, the Ninth Circuit reversed the tax court and                  
               held that the tax court has no jurisdiction under �                    
               6015(e) to consider a petition for review where no                     
               deficiency was determined by the IRS.  Comm'r v. Ewing,                
               439 F.3d 1009, 1012-14 (9th Cir. 2006).  We agree with                 
               the Ninth Circuit that the tax court lacks jurisdiction                
               under � 6015(e) unless a deficiency was asserted                       
               against the individual petitioning for review.  The                    
               language of � 6015(e)(1) is clear and unambiguous:  an                 
               individual may petition the tax court for review “[i]n                 
               the case of an individual against whom a deficiency has                
               been asserted and who elects to have subsection (b) and                
               (c) apply....”  26 U.S.C. � 6015(e)(1) (emphasis                       
               added).  As such, we end our inquiry into the meaning                  
               of the statute and apply its plain language.                           
               Citicasters v. McCaskill, 89 F.3d 1350, 1354-55 (8th                   
               Cir. 1996); Arkansas AFL-CIO v. FCC, 11 F.3d 1430, 1440                
               (8th Cir. 1993) (en banc).  Applying the statute's                     
               plain language, we hold that the tax court had no                      
               jurisdiction to review Bartman's petition for review of                
               the IRS's denial of her tax year 1997 refund request                   
               because no deficiency had been assessed against Bartman                
               for tax year 1997.  [Emphasis added; fn. ref. omitted.]                
          Bartman v. Commissioner, 446 F.3d at 787-788.                               
               18The conference report accompanying the 2001 Consolidated             
          Appropriations Act states in pertinent part:                                
                    Timing of request for relief.--Confusion currently                
               exists as to the appropriate point at which a request                  
               for innocent spouse relief should be made by the                       
               taxpayer and considered by the IRS.  Some have read the                
               statute to prohibit consideration by the IRS of                        
               requests for relief until after an assessment has been                 
               made, i.e., after the examination has been concluded,                  
               and if challenged, judicially determined.  Others have                 
               read the statute to permit claims for relief from                      
               deficiencies to be made upon the filing of the return                  
               before any preliminary determination as to whether a                   
               deficiency exists or whether the return will be                        

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