from the United States Court of Federal Claims in No.
1:13-cv-00095-CFL, Judge Charles F. Lettow.
H. Colon, Sean H. Colon, Inc., Woodland, CA, argued for
S. Moriarty, Tax Division, United States Department of
Justice, Washington, DC, argued for defendant-appellee. Also
represented by Richard Farber, Caroline D. Ciraolo.
Prost, Chief Judge, Wallach and Chen, Circuit Judges.
Wallach, Circuit Judge.
Sandoval Lua and Yadira Sandoval (together, "the
Sandovals") appeal from the decision of the U.S. Court
of Federal Claims ("Claims Court") granting summary
judgment in favor of the United States
("Government") as to certain tax refunds claimed by
the Sandovals. See Sandoval Lua v. United States,
123 Fed.Cl. 269, 277 (2015). We affirm.
2006, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service ("IRS")
opened an audit of the Sandovals' tax return for the 2004
fiscal year. Appellee's Suppl. App. ("SA") 3.
The IRS later expanded this audit to include the 2003 and
2005 fiscal years. SA 44. The Sandovals met with an IRS agent
several times and went over the proposed adjustments to the
Sandovals' taxable income and, thus, outstanding tax
liability owed, for the 2003 and 2004 fiscal years. SA 44-47.
During this process, the Sandovals signed two key documents;
in Form 4549, they waived their right to a notice of
deficiency for the years 2003 and 2004, and in Form 872, they
consented to extend the statute of limitations period for the
2003 fiscal year through December 31, 2008. SA 34, 36-37. The
Sandovals hired representation and obtained audit
reconsideration. SA 42, 46.
reconsideration, the IRS assessed deficiencies for the 2003
and 2004 fiscal years in the amounts of $60, 274 and $87,
566, respectively. SA 3, 9. IRS agents thereafter continued
to meet and confer with the Sandovals' representative in
the following months to prepare amended returns for 2003 and
2004. SA 46-47.
Sandovals filed amended tax returns in June 2008 for the
amounts owed that they considered to be "substantially
correct, " and requested abatements that roughly totaled
the outstanding amounts assessed but not paid. SA 58, 59-77
(2003 amended tax return), 78-95 (2004 amended tax return);
see also SA 156 at 58:6-7 (deposition of Ms.
Sandoval in which she states that they sent checks to the IRS
that were "an estimate of―only of the money that
we owed"). The returns included two checks and an
accompanying letter from their representative stating that
the checks were to be applied to the Sandovals' income
tax liability for 2003 and 2004, and that "any
overpayment" should be contributed to other years'
outstanding amounts due. SA 58. The IRS granted a substantial
portion of the requested abatements, such that these checks
and overpayment credits satisfied the Sandovals' tax
deficiencies in full from 2003 and 2004.SA 4, 10.
2010, the Sandovals filed a second set of amended returns for
2003 and 2004 seeking a full refund of funds remitted plus
amounts applied as overpayments from other tax years,
totaling approximately $101, 000. Appellants' Suppl. App.
27-69. The IRS denied the claims for refund and denied appeal
in 2012. SA 140-49, 151-52.
Sandovals filed suit in the Claims Court seeking the same
relief. The Sandovals contended that they were entitled to
the remitted funds on any of the following grounds: (1) they
withdrew consent to assessment without notice of deficiency
and never received subsequent notice; (2) the 2008 funds were
applied after the three year statute of limitations for
assessment had expired; or (3) the 2008 funds were given as
refundable deposits rather than as tax payments. The Claims
Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Government and
denied a cross-motion for summary judgment, finding that as a
matter of law the Sandovals were not entitled to the claimed
refunds. Sandoval Lua, 123 Fed.Cl. at 277.
Sandovals subsequently filed this appeal. This court has
jurisdiction pursuant to ...