Stewart v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 19-3786 (8th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit agreed with the tax court and held that taxpayers were not entitled to a new hearing because a revenue officer included notes and correspondence about a meeting with their attorney in the official file that was later made available to the settlement officer who reviewed the case. The court explained that, under the administrative-file rule, contemporaneous statements may permissibly be included in the file as long as they are pertinent to the revenue officer's consideration of the case, even if they would otherwise be prohibited. In this case, there is no dispute that the statements in the notes and letters were contemporaneous. Furthermore, the statements were not gratuitous. Therefore, taxpayers are not entitled to a new hearing.