April 21, 2022
Decided April 21, 2022
Boechler, P.C. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 20-1472
Today, the Supreme Court unanimously held that the Internal Revenue Code’s 30-day deadline for taxpayers to seek Tax Court review of “collection due process” determinations is a nonjurisdictional claims-processing rule that is subject to equitable tolling.
Background: When the IRS assesses a tax and the taxpayer doesn’t pay, the IRS can seize the taxpayer’s property to satisfy the outstanding amount. Since 1998, Congress has required the IRS to give advance notice to taxpayers before it levies their property to cover unpaid taxes. Taxpayers can challenge a proposed levy in an administrative hearing before the IRS’s Independent Office of Appeals, which issues the taxpayer a notice of determination stating its findings and decision. And the Internal Revenue Code provides that a taxpayer “may, within 30 days of a determination [from the Independent Office of Appeals], appeal such determination to the Tax Court (and the Tax Court shall have jurisdiction with respect to such matter).” 26 U.S.C. § 6330(d)(1).
Boechler, P.C. received an unfavorable determination from the IRS’s Independent Office of Appeals on a proposed levy but petitioned the Tax Court for review one day after the thirty-day deadline. The Eighth Circuit held that § 6330(d)(1)’s 30-day deadline is jurisdictional, meaning it could not be subject to equitable tolling.
Issue: Is § 6330(d)(1)’s 30-day deadline a jurisdictional requirement or a nonjurisdictional claims-processing rule? If it is a claims-processing rule, is it mandatory or subject to equitable tolling?
Court’s Holding: Section 6330(d)(1) is a nonjurisdictional claims-processing rule and is subject to equitable tolling.
“[The] 30-day time limit to file a petition for review of a collection due process determination is an ordinary, nonjurisdictional deadline subject to equitable tolling.”
Justice Barrett, writing for the Court
What It Means:
The Court’s opinion is available here.
Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice
|Allyson N. Ho
|Thomas H. Dupree Jr.
|Julian W. Poon
|Bradley J. Hamburger
Related Practice: Global Tax Controversy and Litigation
|Michael J. Desmond
|Sanford W. Stark
|C. Terrell Ussing