Annette D. Goode-Parker - Page 11

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               We look to section 6213(g), which lists a number of                    
          different errors that are “mathematical or clerical.”  The type             
          of error that seems most like the one here is “an error in                  
          addition, subtraction, multiplication or division shown on any              
          return.”  Sec. 6213(g)(2)(A).  But we cannot agree with Ms.                 
          Goode-Parker that the mistake on her 1996 return was such an                
          error, because a mistaken failure to add is not the same as “an             
          error in addition.”  As we recently explained in Huffman v.                 
          Commissioner, 126 T.C. 322, 344-345 (2006), there is a                      
          distinction between a “mathematical error” and omitting a step              
          that requires math.  A “mathematical error” occurs when someone             
          multiplies when he should have divided or when his computation              
          produces an erroneous result.  Id.  In this case, Mr. Parker                
          didn’t botch the addition, he just skipped a step that required             
          addition, and under Huffman that is not the same thing.  See id.            
          This admittedly very subtle point means that Ms. Goode-Parker’s             
          liability is neither an understatement nor a deficiency, because            
          her return showed all the tax imposed.8                                     
               That leaves Ms. Goode-Parker able to seek relief only under            
          section 6015(f).  But we held in Billings that we do not have               

               8 The parties did not argue whether Mr. Parker’s mistake               
          might be a clerical error under section 6213(g)(2)(C), because it           
          was “an entry on a return of an item which is inconsistent with             
          another entry of the same or another item on such return.”                  
          Whether tax computations are “items” is unclear, and we leave any           
          definitive holding to another day.                                          

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