26 CFR 301.7433-1 - Civil cause of action for certain unauthorized collection actions.

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§ 301.7433-1 Civil cause of action for certain unauthorized collection actions.
(a) In general. If, in connection with the collection of a federal tax with respect to a taxpayer, an officer or an employee of the Internal Revenue Service recklessly or intentionally , or by reason of negligence, disregards any provision of the Internal Revenue Code or any regulation promulgated under the Internal Revenue Code, such taxpayer may bring a civil action for damages against the United States in federal district court. The taxpayer has a duty to mitigate damages. The total amount of damages recoverable is the lesser of $1,000,000 ($100,000 in the case of negligence), or the sum of:
(1) The actual, direct economic damages sustained as a proximate result of the reckless or international actions of the officer or employee; and
(2) Costs of the action.
An action for damages filed in federal district court may not be maintained unless the taxpayer has filed an administrative claim pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section, and has waited for the period required under paragraph (d) of this section.
(b) Actual, direct economic damages—
(1) Definition. Actual, direct economic damages are actual pecuniary damages sustained by the taxpayer as the proximate result of the reckless or intentional, or negligent, actions of an officer or an employee of the Internal Revenue Service. Injuries such as inconvenience, emotional distress and loss of reputation are compensable only to the extent that they result in actual pecuniary damages.
(2) Litigation costs and administrative costs not recoverable. Litigation costs and administrative costs are not recoverable as actual, direct economic damages. Litigation costs may be recoverable under section 7430 (see paragraph (h) of this section) or, solely to the extent described in paragraph (c) of this section, as costs of the action.
(i) Litigation costs. For purposes of this paragraph, litigation costs are any costs incurred pursuing litigation for relief from the action taken by the officer or employee of the Internal Revenue Service, including costs incurred pursuing a civil action in federal district court under paragraph (a) of this section. The term litigation costs includes the following:
(A) Court costs;
(B) Expenses of expert witnesses in connection with a court proceeding;
(C) Cost of any study, analysis, engineering report, test, or project prepared for a court proceeding; and
(D) Fees paid or incurred for the services of attorneys, or other individuals authorized to practice before the court, in connection with a court proceeding.
(ii) Administrative costs. For purposes of this section, administrative costs are any costs incurred pursuing administrative relief from the action taken by an officer or employee of the Internal Revenue Service, including costs incurred pursuing an administrative claim for damages under paragraph (e) of this section. The term administrative costs includes:
(A) Any administrative fees or similar charges imposed by the Internal Revenue Service; and
(B) Expenses, costs, and fees described in paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section incurred pursuing administrative relief.
(c) Costs of the action. Costs of the action recoverable as damages under this section are limited to the following costs:
(1) Fees of the clerk and marshall;
(2) Fees of the court reporter for all or any part of the stenographic transcript necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
(4) Fees for exemplification and copies of paper necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(5) Docket fees; and
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts and interpreters.
(d) No civil action in federal district court prior to filing an administrative claim—
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, no action under paragraph (a) of this section shall be maintained in any federal district court before the earlier of the following dates:
(i) The date the decision is rendered on a claim filed in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section; or
(ii) The date six months after the date an administrative claim is filed in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section.
(2) If an administrative claim is filed in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section during the last six months of the period of limitations described in paragraph (g) of this section, the taxpayer may file an action in federal district court any time after the administrative claim is filed and before the expiration of the period of limitations.
(e) Procedures for an administrative claim—
(1) Manner. An administrative claim for the lesser of $1,000,000 ($100,000 in the case of negligence) or actual, direct economic damages as defined in paragraph (b) of this section shall be sent in writing to the Area Director, Attn: Compliance Technical Support Manager of the area in which the taxpayer currently resides.
(2) Form. The administrative claim shall include:
(i) The name, current address, current home and work telephone numbers and any convenient times to be contacted, and taxpayer identification number of the taxpayer making the claim;
(ii) The grounds, in reasonable detail, for the claim (include copies of any available substantiating documentation or correspondence with the Internal Revenue Service);
(iii) A description of the injuries incurred by the taxpayer filing the claim (include copies of any available substantiating documentation or evidence);
(iv) The dollar amount of the claim, including any damages that have not yet been incurred but which are reasonably foreseeable (include copies of any available substantiating documentation or evidence); and
(v) The signature of the taxpayer or duly authorized representative.
For purposes of this paragraph, a duly authorized representative is any attorney, certified public accountant, enrolled actuary, or any other person permitted to represent the taxpayer before the Internal Revenue Service who is not disbarred or suspended from practice before the Internal Revenue Service and who has a written power of attorney executed by the taxpaper.
(f) No action in federal district court for any sum in excess of the dollar amount sought in the administrative claim. No action for actual, direct economic damages under paragraph (a) of this section shall be instituted in federal district court for any sum in excess of the amount (already incurred and estimated) of the administrative claim filed under paragraph (e) of this section, except where the increased amount is based upon newly discovered evidence not reasonably discoverable at the time the administrative claim was filed, or upon allegation and proof of intervening facts relating to the amount of the claim.
(g) Period of limitations—
(1) Time for filing. A civil action under paragraph (a) of this section must be brought in federal district court within 2 years after the date the cause of action accrues.
(2) Right of action accrues. A cause of action under paragraph (a) of this section accrues when the taxpayer has had a reasonable opportunity to discover all essential elements of a possible cause of action.
(h) Recovery of costs under section 7430. Reasonable litigation costs, including attorney's fees, not recoverable under this section may be recoverable under section 7430. If following the Internal Revenue Service's denial of an administrative claim on the grounds that the Internal Revenue Service did not violate section 7433(a), a taxpayer brings a civil action for damages in a district court of the United States, and establishes entitlement to damages under this section, substantially prevails with respect to the amount of damages in controversy and meets the requirements of section 7430(c)(4)(A)(iii) (relating to notice and net worth requirements), the taxpayer will be considered a “prevailing party” for purposes of section 7430. Such taxpayer, therefore, will generally be entitled to attorney's fees and other reasonable litigation costs not recoverable under this section. For purposes of this paragraph, if the Internal Revenue Service does not respond on the merits to an administrative claim for damages within six months after the claim is filed, the Internal Revenue Service's failure to respond shall be considered a denial of the claim on the grounds that the Internal Revenue Service did not violate section 7433(a). Administrative costs, including attorney's fees incurred pursuing an administrative claim under paragraph (e) of this section, are not recoverable under section 7430.
(i) Effective dates. The portions of this section relating to reckless or intentional acts are applicable to actions taken by Internal Revenue Service officials after July 30, 1996. The portions of this section relating to negligent acts are applicable to actions taken by the Internal Revenue Service officials after July 22, 1998.
[T.D. 8392, 57 FR 3536, Jan. 30, 1992; 57 FR 5931, Feb. 18, 1992, as amended by T.D. 9050, 68 FR 14320, Mar. 25, 2003]

Title 26 published on 2014-04-01

The following are only the Rules published in the Federal Register after the published date of Title 26.

For a complete list of all Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices view the Rulemaking tab.

  • 2014-08-12; vol. 79 # 155 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014
    1. 79 FR 47246 - Awards for Information Relating to Detecting Underpayments of Tax or Violations of the Internal Revenue Laws
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Internal Revenue Service
      Final regulations.
      Effective Date: These regulations are effective on August 12, 2014. Applicability Date: Sections 301.7623-1, 301.7623-2, 301.7623-3, and 301.6103(h)(4)-1 apply to information submitted on or after August 12, 2014, and to claims for award under sections 7623(a) and 7623(b) that are open as of August 12, 2014. Section 301.7623-4 applies to information submitted on or after August 12, 2014, and to claims for award under section 7623(b) that are open as of August 12, 2014.
      26 CFR Part 301

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United States Code
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Title 26 published on 2014-04-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 26 CFR 301 after this date.

  • 2014-08-12; vol. 79 # 155 - Tuesday, August 12, 2014
    1. 79 FR 47246 - Awards for Information Relating to Detecting Underpayments of Tax or Violations of the Internal Revenue Laws
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, Internal Revenue Service
      Final regulations.
      Effective Date: These regulations are effective on August 12, 2014. Applicability Date: Sections 301.7623-1, 301.7623-2, 301.7623-3, and 301.6103(h)(4)-1 apply to information submitted on or after August 12, 2014, and to claims for award under sections 7623(a) and 7623(b) that are open as of August 12, 2014. Section 301.7623-4 applies to information submitted on or after August 12, 2014, and to claims for award under section 7623(b) that are open as of August 12, 2014.
      26 CFR Part 301