IRC 6320 Hearing
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Craig L. Galloway v. Comm’r of Internal Revenue, No. 21-2269 decided February 9, 2022 that because the issue at hand was outside of the authority of the Tax Court to decide, then the issue also fell outside of the authority of this Court to review.
The Taxpayer in this case had an unpaid income tax liability of $64,315.43. Taxpayer submitted an Offer in Compromise which was rejected by the IRS because they believed the taxpayer could pay the liability based on the reasonable collection potential. Rather than appeal this decision, taxpayer filed another Offer in Compromise. It was rejected for the same reason. He appealed, but the decision of the Offer unit was sustained. After the appeal, the IRS issued a Notice of Federal Tax Lien Filing with rights to a Collection Due Process hearing under IRC 6320. Taxpayer requested a hearing and during that hearing the Officer advised that he could submit a new Offer directly to the Offer Unit, but that if it was the same Offer, it would be rejected. No Offer was filed and the Tax Lien was sustained. Taxpayer then appealed the decision to sustain the filing of the Notice of Federal Tax Lien to the Tax Court. The IRS won in Tax Court by correctly arguing the taxpayer was prohibited from raising a challenge to the Offer in that setting – which he was trying to do. Taxpayer then appealed to this Court. This Court indicated that their review would be based on whether there was an abuse of discretion by the settlement officer in sustaining the federal tax lien – not a review of the underlying rejection of the Offer. This was because the taxpayer had participated meaningfully in his appeal of the Offer rejection. Because the Tax Court was limited in reviewing the underlying debt, so too is this Court of Appeals.