Coffey v. Commissioner, No. 18-3256 (8th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
This opinion supersedes the opinion issued on December 15, 2020, as rehearing by panel was granted on February 10, 2021.
The Eighth Circuit reversed the tax court's grant of taxpayer's motion for summary judgment in an action where the Commissioner had determined that because taxpayer was not a bona fide resident of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), she and her husband owed federal income tax for the 2003 and 2004 tax years. It is undisputed that taxpayers did not intend to file tax returns with the IRS, but only with the USVI's Bureau of Internal Revenue (VIBIR).
The court rejected claims that taxpayer and her husband met the USVI nonresident filing requirements, beginning the three-year statute of limitations in 26 U.S.C. 6501(a) and barring the IRS's claims. In this case, the VBIR's action of sending some of their tax documents to the IRS or their action of filing the returns with the Virgin Islands alone do not meet the filing requirements. Therefore, the court reversed the tax court's finding that taxpayer and her husband could assert the statute of limitations as a defense.
Court Description: [Benton, Author, with Smith, Chief Judge, and Kobes, Circuit Judge] Civil case - Federal Tax Law. This opinion supersedes the opinion issued on December 15, 2020, as rehearing by panel was granted on February 10, 2021. Taxpayers with U.S. Virgin Island-related income must file returns with both the U.S. and the Virgin Islands unless they are bona fide Virgin Island residents. It is undisputed that taxpayers were not bona fide Virgin Island residents who filed only Virgin Island returns. The IRS issued deficiency notices, and the taxpayers asserted the the defense of the three-year statute of limitations, The Tax Court adopted their position and the Commissioner appeals. Held: neither the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue's action in sending some of taxpayers' documents to the IRS nor the taxpayers' act of filing the returns with Virgin Islands alone meet their filing requirements under the Code; since they had not filed a return with the U.S., they did not satisfy the statute of limitations provisions set out in Code section 6501(a), and the Tax Court's finding that they could assert the statute of limitations as a defense to the deficiency notice is reversed.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on December 15, 2020.