Monday, January 24, 2005
When section 7491, which shifts the burden of proof to the IRS for some taxpayers, was added to the tax code seven years ago, the reaction of experienced tax practitioners seemed to be that it would do no harm. Congress had been disturbed by complaints that taxpayers were considered "guilty" in tax matters until they had proven themselves innocent. Section 7491 satisfied the complainants. Recent cases have suggested that it even may make a difference occasionally, but they have also made clear that the taxpayer still has the burden of going forward with the production of evidence before the burden can shift.