Thursday, November 19, 2009
The Tax Court yesterday ruled that it lacks jurisdiction to order the IRS to apologize to a taxpayer. Caldwell v. Commissioner, T.C. Summ. Op. 2009-169 (Nov. 18, 2009):
The part of Caldwell's motion which we characterize as a "Request for Apology" asks that we require the IRS to enter into the record "a written apology to the Petitioner, signed by the Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service" ...
The Tax Court may exercise jurisdiction only to the extent authorized by Congress. See sec. 7442; Naftel v. Commissioner, 85 T.C. 527, 529 (1985). ...
Despite the Court's warning to him in the previous case that the Court's powers to grant relief are limited, Caldwell has not stated why he believes that we have jurisdiction to order the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to apologize to him ...
The IRS objected to the Request for Apology on the ground that Congress has not, through section 7430 (relating to administrative or litigation costs) or otherwise, authorized us to grant such relief. [Fn.3] We agree.
We lack jurisdiction to order the IRS to grant the relief requested in the Request for Apology, or similar relief, and will accordingly deny the Request for Apology.
[Fn. 3]: The IRS further argued that the Federal Government's sovereign immunity would prevent us from granting such relief. Since nothing of which we are aware even suggests we could grant the relief, we need not consider whether sovereign immunity prevents us from granting it.