Robby Goodale Gilbert - Page 7

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               Generally, married taxpayers may elect to file a Federal               
          income tax return jointly.  Sec. 6013(a).  Each spouse filing a             
          joint return is jointly and severally liable for the accuracy of            
          the return and the entire tax due.  Sec. 6013(d)(3).  Under                 
          certain circumstances, however, section 6015 provides relief from           
          this general rule.6                                                         
               A taxpayer may be considered for relief under section                  
          6015(f) where there is an unpaid tax or deficiency for which                
          relief is not available under section 6015(b) or (c).7  Sec.                
          6015(f)(2).  Section 6015(f)(1) provides that a taxpayer may be             
          relieved from joint and several liability if it is determined,              
          after considering all facts and circumstances, that it is                   
          inequitable to hold the taxpayer liable for the unpaid tax or               
          deficiency.  This Court reviews the Commissioner’s denial of                
          relief pursuant to section 6015(f) under an abuse of discretion             
          standard.  Butler v. Commissioner, 114 T.C. 276, 287-292 (2000).            

               6Sec. 6015 applies to any liability for tax arising after              
          July 22, 1998, and to any liability for tax arising on or before            
          July 22, 1998, remaining unpaid as of such date.  Internal                  
          Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Pub. L.               
          105-206, sec. 3201(g), 112 Stat. 740.                                       
               7A prerequisite to granting relief under sec. 6015(b) or (c)           
          is the existence of a tax deficiency or, as referred to in                  
          various cases, an “understatement of tax”.  Sec. 6015(b)(1)(B),             
          (c)(1); Block v. Commissioner, 120 T.C. 62, 65-66 (2003).  The              
          requirement that a proposed or assessed deficiency be present               
          precludes petitioner from seeking relief in the instant case                
          under sec. 6015(b) or (c) for the underpayment of income tax                
          reported on the joint returns for the years at issue but not paid           
          at the time the returns were filed.                                         

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