Equitable Doctrines and Jurisdictional Time Periods, Part 1

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Like other federal courts, the Tax Court is very, very cautious about not overstepping its Congressionally-given bounds. However, the Tax Court also strives to allow taxpayers their day in Court. These two impulses --- the caution to stay within the statutory grants of power and the drive to decide cases on the merits --- sometimes collide. When that happens, the Tax Court struggles in applying the relevant limitation period and, as a result, sometimes lies or cheats. It sometimes lies by claiming that it may not apply equitable principles to the relevant limitation period. It sometimes cheats by accomplishing the same result by manipulating facts to bring a case within the relevant time period. It sometimes does both at the same time. <br><br>This article addresses the lie. It reviews cases where the Supreme Court, and other courts, have indeed applied equitable doctrines to jurisdictional time periods. It describes the Supreme Court’s continuing but uncertain distinction between ti
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1397-1409
JournalTax Notes
StatePublished - Sep 11 2017


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