Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Borenstein v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

April 2, 2019

Roberta Borenstein, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Respondent-Appellee.

          Argued: November 13, 2018

         Roberta Borenstein appeals from a judgment of the United States Tax Court denying her petition seeking a refund of her overpayment of 2012 income taxes. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue and Borenstein do not dispute that she overpaid, or the amount of her overpayment; however, the Commissioner argues--and the Tax Court agreed--that the Tax Court lacks jurisdiction to order a refund or credit of the overpayment.

         On appeal, Borenstein argues that the Tax Court's interpretation of 26 U.S.C. § 6512(b)(3), which limits its jurisdiction to order refunds or credits of overpayments, is unreasonable and inconsistent with congressional intent.

         Reversed and remanded.

          KENDALL C. JONES, Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP, Washington, D.C., for Petitioner-Appellant.

          IVAN C. DALE, Tax Division (Richard E. Zuckerman, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General; Joan I. Oppenheimer, Tax Division, on the brief), United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., for Respondent-Appellee.

          T. KEITH FOGG (Simona Altshuler, on the brief), Federal Tax Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, Jamaica Plain, MA; W. EDWARD AFIELD, Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, Atlanta, GA; for Amici Curiae Federal Tax Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, in support of Petitioner-Appellant.

          Before: JACOBS, POOLER, WESLEY, Circuit Judges.

          DENNIS JACOBS, CIRCUIT JUDGE

         Roberta Borenstein appeals from a judgment of the United States Tax Court (Lauber, J.) denying her petition seeking refund of her overpayment of 2012 income tax. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue ("the Commissioner") and Borenstein do not dispute that she overpaid, or the amount of her overpayment; however, the Commissioner argues--and the Tax Court agreed--that the Tax Court lacks jurisdiction to order a refund or credit of the overpayment. As the Tax Court observed, and so far as we can ascertain, this case presents an issue of first impression in any court.

         On appeal, Borenstein argues that the Tax Court's interpretation of 26 U.S.C. § 6512(b)(3), which limits its jurisdiction to order refunds or credits of overpayments, is unreasonable and inconsistent with congressional intent, and that its judgment must therefore be reversed.

         The question of Tax Court jurisdiction is one of statutory interpretation. The Tax Court has jurisdiction under 26 U.S.C. § 6512(b) to order refunds or credits for overpayments in years past, but its jurisdiction is circumscribed. As relevant to this case, "look-back periods" limit how far into the past the Tax Court may reach to remedy overpayments by refund or credit.

         A taxpayer who files a tax return, and within three years after that filing is mailed a notice of deficiency from the Commissioner, is entitled to a look-back period of at least three years. However, prior to Congress's amendment of the governing statute, a taxpayer who had not filed a return before the mailing of a notice of deficiency--like Borenstein--was entitled only to a default two-year look-back period. Accordingly, Congress, seeking to extend the look-back period available to such non-filing taxpayers, provided that if a notice of deficiency is mailed "during the third year after the due date (with extensions) for filing the return," and if no return was filed before the notice of deficiency was mailed, the applicable look-back period is three years. This is called the "flush language" of 26 U.S.C. § 6512(b)(3).

         Borenstein paid (in fact, overpaid) her 2012 taxes on the due date of her 2012 return and received a six-month extension for the filing of her return, but failed to file her return for that year by the time that the Commissioner mailed a notice of deficiency--26 months after the due date. If, as the Tax Court ruled (and the Commissioner argues), "(with extensions)" has the effect of delaying by six months the beginning of the "third year after the due date," then Borenstein's notice of deficiency was mailed prior to the commencement of the third year. That would leave the Tax Court ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.