Annette D. Goode-Parker - Page 8

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          but if they do, both spouses are then responsible for the                   
          return’s accuracy and both are generally liable for the entire              
          tax due under section 6013(d)(3).  Butler v. Commissioner, 114              
          T.C. 276, 282 (2000).  In some cases, however, section 6015 can             
          relieve one spouse from this joint liability.  This relief comes            
          in three varieties:  Relief under section 6015(b) requires an               
          “understatement;” relief under section 6015(c) requires a                   
          “deficiency;”6 but relief under section 6015(f) requires only               
          that the requesting spouse be “liable for any unpaid tax or any             
          deficiency.”  Therefore, if the liability is neither an                     
          “understatement” nor a “deficiency,” only relief under subsection           
          (f) is possible.  See Hopkins v. Commissioner, 121 T.C. 73, 87-88           
               Section 6015(e) gave us jurisdiction to review the                     
          Commissioner’s innocent spouse determinations under all three               

               6 The use of “understatement” and “deficiency” in different            
          subsections of section 6015 seems to reflect their different                
          origins.  Subsection (b) is a modification of the old innocent              
          spouse section, section 6013(e), that Congress repealed when it             
          enacted section 6015.  The requirement that there be an “under-             
          statement” is common to both the old and new sections.  See                 
          Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998,              
          Pub. L. 105-206, sec. 3201(a), 112 Stat. 734; Butler v.                     
          Commissioner, 114 T.C. 276, 283 (2000); H. Conf. Rept. 105-599,             
          at 249 (1998), 1998-3 C.B. 747, 1003.  Subsections (c) and (f)              
          were major expansions of innocent spouse relief, and in those               
          subsections Congress used “deficiency” instead of                           
          “understatement.”  Cheshire v. Commissioner, 115 T.C. 183, 189              
          (2000), affd. 282 F.3d 326 (5th Cir. 2002); H. Conf. Rept.                  
          105-599, supra at 249, 1998-3 C.B. at 1003.                                 

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