The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in a case argued in April 2020 by Oliver Roberts, a second-year law student in LSC’s Tax Clinic. LSC represented a couple who had been audited by the IRS and disagreed with the amount the IRS said they owed. The couple was unaware of their right to dispute the finding, because the IRS sent that notification to their previous home address, despite having been told multiple times of the couple’s new address.
In reversing a precedential decision of the Tax Court, the Third Circuit agreed with LSC’s arguments that the couple had been deprived of their right to challenge the audit. LSC argued that while the plaintiffs had not used the official form required to notify the IRS of an address change, they had listed their new address on multiple IRS forms given to the IRS before it used their old address—and the accountant helping the plaintiffs had told the IRS agent in charge of their case that the plaintiffs had moved and given the agent the new address. This case is important because it affirms the due process rights of taxpayers in their interactions with the IRS.
You can learn more about the case, how Roberts prepared to argue the appeal amid the pandemic, and hear portions of his oral argument–delivered via phone hearing–here.