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IRS Can't Be Compelled to Reopen OIC Returned Years Before CDP Hearing
(Parker Tax Publishing: October 18, 2013)

The IRS cannot be required to reopen an offer-in-compromise, based on doubt as to collectability, which the IRS returned to the taxpayer years before a collection hearing began; thus, the IRS did not abuse its discretion in sustaining the final notice of intent to levy. Reed v. Comm'r, 141 T.C. No. 7 (9/23/13).

Tom Reed failed to timely file federal income tax returns for years 1987 through 2001. He subsequently submitted delinquent returns but failed to fully satisfy the outstanding tax liabilities. Tom submitted two separate offers-in-compromise (OICs) to settle the outstanding tax liabilities. The IRS rejected the first OIC, returned the second OIC, and issued a final notice of intent to levy. Tom requested a collection due process (CDP) hearing and raised issues during the collection hearing regarding the IRS's handling of the two OICs. Tom requested that the returned OIC be reopened. The IRS concluded that he did not have the authority to reopen the returned OIC and sustained the final notice of intent to levy.

Tom argued that the IRS abused its discretion in sustaining the final notice of intent to levy. According to Tom, the IRS abused its discretion by concluding that it lacked the authority to reopen an OIC based on doubt as to collectibility that the IRS returned to Tom years before the collection hearing began. The IRS argued that the Tax Court lacked jurisdiction to determine whether the IRS abused its discretion because Tom proposed no new OIC during the collection hearing. The IRS further argued that the Tax Court lacked jurisdiction because Tom had no judicial review rights relating to the IRS's rejecting or returning an OIC.

The Tax Court held that it had jurisdiction to determine whether the IRS abused its discretion in sustaining the final notice of intent to levy. Further, the court said that the IRS cannot be required to reopen an OIC, based on doubt as to collectability, which the IRS returned to Tom years before the collection hearing began. Finally, the Tax Court concluded that the IRS did not abuse its discretion in sustaining the final notice of intent to levy.

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