Collection Due Process Notice Not Signed Is Invalid
Collection Due Process Notice (Letter 1058, LT-11 Or Letter 3172) Is Invalid Because It Is Not Signed By The Secretary Or His Delegate
The Law: Section 6320(a)(1) provides that the Secretary shall notify a taxpayer in writing of the filing of a notice of federal tax lien, pursuant to section 6323, advising the taxpayer of the right to request a collection due process hearing. Section 6330(a)(1) provides that no levy may be made on any property or rights to property of any person unless the Secretary has notified such person of his or her right to a collection due process hearing before levy. There is no requirement for a signature on the collection due process notice in the statute or regulations.Section 7701(a)(11)(B) defines “Secretary” to include the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate. Section 7701(a)(12)(A)(i) defines the term “delegate”, as used with respect to the Secretary of the Treasury, to mean any officer, employee, or agency of the Treasury Department duly authorized by the Secretary directly, or indirectly by redelegation of authority, to perform a certain function.Section 7803(a)(2) provides general authority for the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, as prescribed by the Secretary. Treas. Reg. ” 301.6320-1(a)(1) and 301.6330-1(a)(1) further provide that the Commissioner, or his or her delegate, will prescribe procedures to provide notice of the right to request a collection due process hearing. See, e.g., Delegation Order 5-3 (formerly D.O. 191 Rev. 3) (redelegation of authority with respect to levy notices).
Relevant Case Law:
Oropeza v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2008-94, 95 T.C.M. (CCH) 1367 (2008) – in this collection due process case, the taxpayer raised the issue that the Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing that was issued to him was unsigned. The court reaffirmed that there is “no statutory requirement” that the Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Notice of Your Right to a Hearing be signed.Thompson v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2004-204, 88 T.C.M. (CCH) 219 (2004) – in this collection due process case, the petitioner asserts that the Final Notice of Intent to Levy was invalid because it was not signed by the Secretary. The Tax Court disagreed, stating that “the Secretary delegated the authority to issue notices of levy or lien to certain IRS employees.” This authority has been delegated to the Automated Collection Branch Chiefs. Accordingly, the court found that petitioner’s Final Notice of Intent to Levy executed by the Chief of the Automated Collection Branch in Kansas City, Missouri was clearly valid.Hodgson v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2003-122, 85 T.C.M. (CCH) 1232 (2003) – taxpayer alleged that respondent’s determination was lawless and erroneous for numerous reasons, including the fact that the section 6320 lien notice was not signed by the Secretary or his delegate. The court held that the allegations were frivolous and without any merit, and declined to address them. The court found the taxpayer liable for a section 6673(a) penalty.Craig v. Commissioner, 119 T.C. 252 (2002) – the court held that for purposes of section 6330(a), either the Secretary or his delegate (e.g., the Commissioner) may issue a final notice of intent to levy. In this case, the authority to levy was delegated to the Automated Collection Branch Chiefs pursuant to Delegation Order No. 191 (Rev. 2), effective October 1, 1999. Accordingly, the notice of intent to levy was valid.