675 F.2d 239 (9th Cir. 1982), 80-4150, Huettl v. United States

Docket Nº:80-4150.
Citation:675 F.2d 239
Party Name:Robert J. and Nancy J. HUETTL, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. UNITED STATES of America, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:April 19, 1982
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 239

675 F.2d 239 (9th Cir. 1982)

Robert J. and Nancy J. HUETTL, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

UNITED STATES of America, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 80-4150.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

April 19, 1982

Argued and Submitted Nov. 9, 1981.

Page 240

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

W. Keith Woodmansee, W. Keith Woodmansee Law Corp., Walnut Creek, Cal., for plaintiffs-appellants.

Steven F. Frahn, Washington, D. C., argued, for defendant-appellee; Michael L. Paup, M. Carr Ferguson, Gilbert E. Andrews, Ann B. Durney, Washington, D. C., Jay R. Weill, Asst. U. S. Atty., San Francisco, Cal., on brief.

Before KENNEDY and BOOCHEVER, Circuit Judges, and EAST, [*] District Judge.

KENNEDY, Circuit Judge:

Taxpayers, Robert and Nancy Huettl, appeal the dismissal of their suit for tax refund. The district court ruled the action was barred by the statute of limitations for bringing refund claims in district court, I.R.C. § 6532(a)(1), and we affirm.

Taxpayers filed a joint federal income tax return for 1968 on or about April 1, 1969, and, on April 4, 1972, filed a refund claim alleging that a foreign tax credit carryover was available for the year 1968. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) disallowed the claim on July 23, 1974, for the reason that, inter alia, 1 a three-year statute

Page 241

of limitations for filing with the IRS barred the claim. See I.R.C. § 6511(a). 2

In 1978, we decided United States v. Woodmansee, 578 F.2d 1302 (9th Cir. 1978), and implied that the ten-year limitations period of I.R.C. § 6511(d)(3) (A), 3 and not the three-year limitations period of I.R.C. § 6511(a), applied to the filing of claims such as taxpayers' with the IRS. Upon the assumption that the Woodmansee decision changed the legal posture of their claim, taxpayers made two filings on August 25, 1978. One was a suit for refund with the district court based on the disallowance of the first claim by the IRS. Taxpayers voluntarily dismissed the suit when they realized that it was barred by a two-year statute of limitations governing the amount of time an action for refund can be presented to a district court after an adverse IRS ruling. See I.R.C. § 6532(a)(1). 4 The other was a claim for refund with the IRS. Except for its reference to the Woodmansee decision, it was identical to the first administrative claim. The crux of both administrative claims was taxpayers' asserted entitlement to a foreign tax credit carryover. The taxpayers' entitlement to the carryover, aside from the limitations issue, was wholly unaffected by the Woodmansee decision. The IRS disallowed the second claim on July 10, 1979.

Taxpayers then filed the instant suit for refund in the district court on August 30, 1979, within two years of the second IRS disallowance. The district court reasoned that taxpayers' second claim for refund with the IRS was identical to their first, that the second claim therefore could not extend the two-year limitations period of I.R.C. § 6532(a)(1), that the limitations period for the second district court suit thereby began running on or about the date of the first IRS disallowance of July 23, 1974, and that the second district court action was thus barred by I.R.C. § 6532(a)(1). The court dismissed the action on this basis, and we affirm.

A taxpayer generally may file more than one administrative refund claim within the statutory period applicable to the filing of claims with the IRS. E.g., 18th Street Leader Stores, Inc. v. United States, 142 F.2d 113, 115 (7th Cir.), cert. denied, 323 U.S. 725, 65 S.Ct. 61, 89 L.Ed. 583 (1944); Union Commerce Bank v. United States, 463 F.Supp. 842, 843 (N.D.Ohio 1978), affirmed, 638 F.2d 962 (6th Cir. 1981). However, a second claim for refund on grounds identical to those in the first does not extend the two-year limitations period of I.R.C. § 6532(a)(1) for bringing suit in a district court. E.g., Union Commerce Bank v. United States, 638 F.2d 962, 963 (6th Cir. 1981); Kelson v. United States, 503 F.2d 1291, 1292-1293...

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