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Mannella v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, 10-1308

Claim for equitable innocent spouse relief in an action for unpaid taxes

Mannella v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, 10-1308, concerned a challenge to the United States Tax Court's decision that petitioner did not owe any income taxes, interest, or penalties for the taxable years 1996 through 2000, in invalidating a Treasury Department regulation, 26 C.F.R. section 1.6015-5(b)(1), that sets two-year deadline to file a claim for equitable "innocent spouse" relief under 26 U.S.C. section 6015(f) from liability resulting from a jointly filed federal income tax return.

In reversing the judgment, the court remanded the case in concluding that the regulation is neither contrary to nor an impermissible implementation of section 6015, and thus, inasmuch as petitioner filed her claim for innocent spouse relief beyond the regulation's two-year deadline for seeking such relief.  However, the case is remanded for the Tax Court to consider an equitable tolling contention that petitioner advances on appeal with respect to the running of the two-year period.

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