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Missed Opportunities – Tax Court Shows No Mercy for Indirect Partner

Volume 6 No 5    /    Read Article

By Rusudan Shervashidze and Nina Krauthamer

In the U.S., there are several options to challenge an I.R.S. adjustment in the courts, including the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Tax Court. Of the three options, only a challenge in the Tax Court can be pursued without first paying the tax. Strict time limits are placed on filing a petition to the Tax Court. If a taxpayer misses the deadline, it must first pay the tax and then sue for refund in either of the other courts. The petition deadline is easy to determine when the I.R.S. proposes an adjustment to an individual or corporation, but when the adjustment is made to the income of a partnership – which yields tax exposure for partners – it is not always clear when the time limit has run out. In a recent memorandum decision, the Tax Court ruled that an indirect partner was not able to challenge the tax liability of a partnership because the petition came too late. In their review of the decision, Rusudan Shervashidze and Nina Krauthamer explain the strange facts involved and point out that the taxpayer did not have “clean hands.”    See more →