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Chamberlain Hrdlicka Blawgs
David J. Shakow is counsel in the Philadelphia office of Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry and is professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
The Supreme Court's decision in Home Concrete raises new questions about the deference to be given to administrative pronouncements that conflict with prior judicial decisions. Unfortunately, the opinions of a divided Court leave practitioners to puzzle over the boundaries of its decision.
This article originally appeared in Tax Notes. Copyright 2012 David J. Shakow.
All rights reserved.
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Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Mayo Foundation v. United States, in which the Court ruled that tax regulations receive deference from courts under the Chevron doctrine that applies to non-tax regulations, many commentators acknowledged the decision’s anticipated impact on disputes about the validity of tax regulations. The new standard gives the IRS much wider latitude in issuing regulations that fill gaps caused by statutory ambiguities. In our prior discussions of the decision, we speculated:
The IRS may be wise to keep in mind that neither it, nor the courts ...
The Supreme Court’s decision this week in Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research v. United States clarifies the approach courts should take in determining the validity of IRS regulations. The decision is a victory for the IRS, but it leaves many issues unresolved. One thing is very clear, however: the IRS can be expected to push the decision aggressively in future challenges to its regulations.
Last week, the IRS issued a proposed regulation that would generally require corporations to attach Schedule UTP (Uncertain Tax Position Statement) to their returns. The regulation effectively would give the IRS authority to require that the schedule be filed; but the issuance of the regulation raises an interesting question: is the IRS setting the stage to argue that the requirement to file Schedule UTP should be permitted on the basis of deference to the IRS’s regulatory authority?