Wilson v. CIR

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Tax Law
  • Date Filed: 01-15-2013
  • Case #: 10-72754
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Thomas for the Court; Circuit Judge Gould; Dissent by Circuit Judge Bybee
  • Full Text Opinion

Under 26 U.S.C. § 6015, the Tax Court is permitted to review Innocent Spouse Relief cases de novo and to consider new evidence in making its determination.

Petitioner Karen Wilson was granted innocent spouse relief under §6015(f) by the Tax Court, after being denied relief by Commissioner’s Cincinnati Centralized Innocent Spouse Operation and the IRS Office of Appeals. The IRS appealed the Tax Court’s determination, claiming that it should not have reviewed the case de novo and should not have allowed new evidence. The Ninth Circuit looked first to the language of the statute, then the structure, and determined that the de novo review was appropriate. The government also argued that the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) required the Tax Court to only consider the administrative record. The Court disagreed, reasoning that the special statutory review process applied instead of the APA. Also, the Court noted that the determination called for in the statute suggested the need for “a de novo scope of evidentiary review in § 6015(f) cases,” as the Tax Court would need additional evidence. The Ninth Circuit held that the Tax Court’s use of de novo review and new evidence was appropriate. AFFIRMED.

Advanced Search