Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Andy Grewal (Iowa), Petaluma and the Limits of Treasury's Authority, 144 Tax Notes 479 (July 28, 2014):
In a prior article, I explained how taxpayers could make arguments that would potentially avoid the Supreme Court's adverse holdings in United States v. Woods. The Court deliberately left one issue open, citing a brief that I had submitted, and another issue went unacknowledged but can still be presented by taxpayers.
In Petaluma v. United States, currently pending in the D.C. Circuit, the taxpayer has adopted the regulatory arguments I presented in the earlier article. Consequently, what was once a mind-numbing case about partnership audit procedure has become a case about fundamental tax and administrative law doctrines.
This short article alerts the reader to the issues raised in Petaluma's appeal. It forgoes extensive doctrinal analysis, which I've performed elsewhere. However, the temptation to criticize some of the rather peculiar arguments in the government's reply brief cannot be resisted.