Does a Tax Court decision that does not use the correct standard of review have any res judicata effect?

Asked over 2 years ago - Houston, TX

In a 6320/6330 case in Tax Court, the standard of review is "abuse of discretion", i.e. the Tax Court has to decide whether or not the IRS's appeals officer abused discretion in making the findings in the notice of determination. If the Tax Court makes a decision that expressly does NOT make the finding of abuse of discretion, does the decision have any res judicata effect. There was no trial, no facts were established, and no evidence adduced.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Dana Whitney Atchley

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You've already asked this question once; merely rephrasing it doesn't change that fact. That being said, a court's decision is res judicata in the case until and unless you have it overturned on appeal. If you sat on your hands and let the time for an appeal expire then you have no one to blame but yourself - you are stuck with that decision.

  2. Curtis Lamar Harrington Jr

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Your wording is interesting. "expressly does NOT make the finding of abuse of discretion" could mean that:

    (1) was silent on "abuse of discretion"

    (2) "we did not find abuse of discretion"

    (3) "we affirmatively found no abuse of discretion"


    then you left the specific area on abuse and asked in general if a case was res judicata.

    You also didn't say why you thought (1), (2), or (3) was important.

    Something is hidden in this description, and I can't tell what it is.

    also consider whether 6330(g), if present, trumped a more specific finding.

    Talk to your local Houston Tax attorney on this. Ira B. Shepard of the U. Houston Law school can refer you to one if you don't have a tax attorney.

    Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal... more

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