Gray v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, 4024-22

CourtUnited States Tax Court
Writing for the CourtElizabeth A. Copeland, Judge
PartiesANNE M. GRAY, Petitioner v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent
Docket Number4024-22
Decision Date21 November 2022

ANNE M. GRAY, Petitioner
v.

COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent

No. 4024-22

United States Tax Court

November 21, 2022


ORDER

Elizabeth A. Copeland, Judge

This case is scheduled for trial at the Trial Session of the Court at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 13, 2023.

Background

In the Petition, filed March 7, 2022, petitioner alleged inter alia that she is entitled to relief from joint and several liability with her now-deceased husband, William G. Gray, for deficiencies and penalties that respondent determined with respect to the Grays' joint income tax returns for tax years 2007, 2008, and 2009. The Petition did not allege when or where Mr. Gray died, nor the identity of any fiduciary for his estate, nor the identities of any of Mr. Gray's heirs or beneficiaries.

On May 2, 2022, respondent filed a Notice of Filing of Petition and Right to Intervene, informing the Court that he could not provide notice of petitioner's claim, as required by Rule 325, in light of the Petition's omission of information regarding Mr. Gray's death, estate, and heirs or beneficiaries.

On November 17, 2022, respondent filed a Status Report informing the Court that respondent received a letter from petitioner on November 16, 2022. According to respondent, petitioner's letter indicated that Mr. Gray died intestate on September 1, 2014, as a resident of New Jersey; that no fiduciary was appointed to act for his estate; that petitioner is his surviving spouse; and that Mr. Gray had four children (whose names are listed in the letter). According to respondent, petitioner asserted in the letter that there is no further action required with respect to notifying any parties of a right to intervene in this action. Respondent noted his disagreement with that conclusion.

1

Discussion

When a taxpayer submits a petition seeking "innocent spouse" relief under section 6015, this Court's Rules require respondent to serve notice on the non-requesting spouse within 60 days of service of the petition, informing such non-requesting spouse of the right to intervene. Rule 325; see also King v. Commissioner, 115 T.C. 118, 124-25 (2000) (clarifying that the notice requirement of Rule 325 applies both when the petition contests respondent's previous denial of section 6015 relief and when the petition newly raises section 6015 as a defense to a deficiency determination).

We have held that the non-requesting spouse's rights to notice and...

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