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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

9th Circuit: The Tax Court, the APA, and Innocent Spouse Relief

Wilson v. Commissioner, No. 10-72754 (9th Cir. Jan. 15, 2013):

Affirming the Tax Court’s grant of innocent spouse relief under § 6015, the panel held that the Tax Court properly reviewed new evidence outside the administrative record and correctly applied a de novo standard of review in determining the taxpayer’s eligibility for equitable relief based on the text, structure, and legislative history of the statute.

Judge Bybee dissented. He would hold that, because the Tax Court is a “reviewing court” for purposes of the judicial review provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, the Tax Court can only review the Secretary of the Treasury’s exercise of discretion for an abuse of discretion.

(Hat Tip: Bob Kamman.)

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