Home Concrete Decision Leaves Administrative Law Questions Unsettled While Excluding Overstatements of Basis from Six-Year Statute of Limitations

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May 3, 2012

[A shorter version of this blog post appears on SCOTUSblog.]

The Supreme Court last week ruled 5-4 in favor of the taxpayer in Home Concrete, thus putting an end to the long-running saga of the Intermountain litigation on which we have been reporting for the past 18 months.  The opinion was authored by Justice Breyer and joined in full by three other Justices, but Justice Scalia joined only in part.  The result is a definitive resolution of the specific tax issue – the six-year statute of limitations does not apply to an overstatement of basis.  But the Court’s … Read More

Update on Intermountain Cases

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September 15, 2011

Although our blog coverage might reasonably be accused of hibernating over the summer, court calendars inexorably marched on, and there were several developments in the various Intermountain cases.  If the Supreme Court grants cert in Beard on September 26, as we have predicted, these developments will not be of much moment, since all of the cases will likely be governed by the Supreme Court’s decision in Beard.  The one possible exception is the Federal Circuit’s decision in Grapevine, where the taxpayer’s cert petition has been fully briefed and is ready for consideration by the Supreme Court on September … Read More

Taxpayer Seeks Rehearing in Salman Ranch

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July 22, 2011

While we wait to see what the government will say to the Supreme Court on the Intermountain issue, litigation continues in the courts of appeals.  (The government’s response to the certiorari petition in Beard is currently due on July 27.)   The taxpayer has filed a petition for rehearing en banc in Salman Ranch.  It is hard to imagine that the Tenth Circuit will head down that road when it appears that the Supreme Court will address the issue.  Salman Ranch, however, does present one wrinkle not present in the other cases — namely, whether the government was precluded … Read More

Tenth Circuit Sides With Government on Intermountain Issue

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May 31, 2011

The Tenth Circuit, after a long period of deliberation, has reversed the Tax Court in Salman Ranch.  (Opinion linked here.)  This now makes the score 3-2 in favor of the government in the series of appeals that have spread to most circuits.  See our original report here.

The Tenth Circuit’s opinion closely tracks the reasoning of the Federal Circuit in Grapevine.  The court first looked at the Supreme Court’s decision in Colony and concluded that it should not be read as holding that the statute unambiguously supports the taxpayer’s position.  (The Tenth Circuit did note its … Read More

Son-of-BOSS Statute of Limitations Issue Inundates the Courts of Appeals

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November 30, 2010

The government has successfully challenged understatements of income attributable to stepped-up basis in so-called Son-of-BOSS tax shelters.  See, e.g., American Boat Co., LLC v. United States, 583 F.3d 471, 473 (7th Cir. 2009).  But it has been stymied in some cases by the three-year statute of limitations for issuing notices of deficiency.  Code section 6501(e)(1)(A) provides for a six-year statute “[i]f the taxpayer omits from gross income an amount” that exceeds the stated gross income by 25 percent.  Section 6229(c)(2) provides a similar six-year statute for cases governed by the TEFRA partnership rules.  The IRS has argued, unsuccessfully … Read More