April 30, 2022 - Douglas Myser

Supreme Court holds tax court not held. The 30 day limit of Sec. 6330(d) for taxpayers to file a petition with the Tax Court to review an IRS determination is nonjurisdictional, the U.S. Supreme Court held, meaning it can be extended in certain instances. The Court's unanimous opinion, written by Justice Any Coney Barrett, was issued in the case of a North Dakota Law firm, Boechler P.C., 967 F. 3d 760 (8th Cir. 2020) The Supreme Court's Opinion was limited t the general question of whether the time limitation is jurisdictional, not on Boechler's petition in particular, which it directed the Eighth Circuit to reconsider on remand, in light of the reversal of that court's holding. Supreme Court holds tax court not held.

Sec. 6330 concerns procedural requirements for IRS levies upon property to satisfy a tax debt. Generally, before making a levy, the IRS must properly notify taxpayers of their right to a fair hearing and provide that hearing upon request. A taxpayer may then file a petition with the Tax Court within 30 days to review the IRS's determination (Sec. 6330(d)). In 2015, the IRS notified Boechler of a discrepancy in its tax filings, imposed a 10% penalty for intentional disregard of filing requirements, and notified Boechler of its intent to levy. Boechler requested and obtained a hearing by the IRS Independent Office of Appeals, which sustained the proposed levy. Boechler petitioned the Tax Court, but the petition was one day late, missing the Sec. 6330(d) deadline.

After review the Supreme Court found that Boechler's reading of the phrase "such matter" was the more plausible one, and granted him not only more than 30 days tolling, but read the statue to allow him his interpretation of nonjurisdictional, as opposed to the IRS reading. The Supreme Court's ruling was unanimous.

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