26 U.S. Code § 7422 - Civil actions for refund

(a) No suit prior to filing claim for refund
No suit or proceeding shall be maintained in any court for the recovery of any internal revenue tax alleged to have been erroneously or illegally assessed or collected, or of any penalty claimed to have been collected without authority, or of any sum alleged to have been excessive or in any manner wrongfully collected, until a claim for refund or credit has been duly filed with the Secretary, according to the provisions of law in that regard, and the regulations of the Secretary established in pursuance thereof.
(b) Protest or duress
Such suit or proceeding may be maintained whether or not such tax, penalty, or sum has been paid under protest or duress.
(c) Suits against collection officer a bar
A suit against any officer or employee of the United States (or former officer or employee) or his personal representative for the recovery of any internal revenue tax alleged to have been erroneously or illegally assessed or collected, or of any penalty claimed to have been collected without authority, or of any sum alleged to have been excessive or in any manner wrongfully collected shall be treated as if the United States had been a party to such suit in applying the doctrine of res judicata in all suits in respect of any internal revenue tax, and in all proceedings in the Tax Court and on review of decisions of the Tax Court.
(d) Credit treated as payment
The credit of an overpayment of any tax in satisfaction of any tax liability shall, for the purpose of any suit for refund of such tax liability so satisfied, be deemed to be a payment in respect of such tax liability at the time such credit is allowed.
(e) Stay of proceedings
If the Secretary prior to the hearing of a suit brought by a taxpayer in a district court or the United States Court of Federal Claims for the recovery of any income tax, estate tax, gift tax, or tax imposed by chapter 41, 42, 43, or 44 (or any penalty relating to such taxes) mails to the taxpayer a notice that a deficiency has been determined in respect of the tax which is the subject matter of taxpayer’s suit, the proceedings in taxpayer’s suit shall be stayed during the period of time in which the taxpayer may file a petition with the Tax Court for a redetermination of the asserted deficiency, and for 60 days thereafter. If the taxpayer files a petition with the Tax Court, the district court or the United States Court of Federal Claims, as the case may be, shall lose jurisdiction of taxpayer’s suit to whatever extent jurisdiction is acquired by the Tax Court of the subject matter of taxpayer’s suit for refund. If the taxpayer does not file a petition with the Tax Court for a redetermination of the asserted deficiency, the United States may counterclaim in the taxpayer’s suit, or intervene in the event of a suit as described in subsection (c) (relating to suits against officers or employees of the United States), within the period of the stay of proceedings notwithstanding that the time for such pleading may have otherwise expired. The taxpayer shall have the burden of proof with respect to the issues raised by such counterclaim or intervention of the United States except as to the issue of whether the taxpayer has been guilty of fraud with intent to evade tax. This subsection shall not apply to a suit by a taxpayer which, prior to the date of enactment of this title, is commenced, instituted, or pending in a district court or the United States Court of Federal Claims for the recovery of any income tax, estate tax, or gift tax (or any penalty relating to such taxes).
(f) Limitation on right of action for refund
(1) General rule
A suit or proceeding referred to in subsection (a) may be maintained only against the United States and not against any officer or employee of the United States (or former officer or employee) or his personal representative. Such suit or proceeding may be maintained against the United States notwithstanding the provisions of section 2502 of title 28 of the United States Code (relating to aliens’ privilege to sue) and notwithstanding the provisions of section 1502 of such title 28 (relating to certain treaty cases).
(2) Misjoinder and change of venue
If a suit or proceeding brought in a United States district court against an officer or employee of the United States (or former officer or employee) or his personal representative is improperly brought solely by virtue of paragraph (1), the court shall order, upon such terms as are just, that the pleadings be amended to substitute the United States as a party for such officer or employee as of the time such action commenced, upon proper service of process on the United States. Such suit or proceeding shall upon request by the United States be transferred to the district or division where it should have been brought if such action initially had been brought against the United States.
(g) Special rules for certain excise taxes imposed by chapter 42 or 43
(1) Right to bring actions
(A) In general
With respect to any taxable event, payment of the full amount of the first tier tax shall constitute sufficient payment in order to maintain an action under this section with respect to the second tier tax.
(B) Definitions
For purposes of subparagraph (A), the terms “taxable event”, “first tier tax”, and “second tier tax” have the respective meanings given to such terms by section 4963.
(2) Limitation on suit for refund
No suit may be maintained under this section for the credit or refund of any tax imposed under section 4941, 4942, 4943, 4944, 4945, 4951, 4952, 4955, 4958, 4971, or 4975 with respect to any act (or failure to act) giving rise to liability for tax under such sections, unless no other suit has been maintained for credit or refund of, and no petition has been filed in the Tax Court with respect to a deficiency in, any other tax imposed by such sections with respect to such act (or failure to act).
(3) Final determination of issues
For purposes of this section, any suit for the credit or refund of any tax imposed under section 4941, 4942, 4943, 4944, 4945, 4951, 4952, 4955, 4958, 4971, or 4975 with respect to any act (or failure to act) giving rise to liability for tax under such sections, shall constitute a suit to determine all questions with respect to any other tax imposed with respect to such act (or failure to act) under such sections, and failure by the parties to such suit to bring any such question before the Court shall constitute a bar to such question.
(h) Special rule for actions with respect to partnership items
No action may be brought for a refund attributable to partnership items (as defined in section 6231 (a)(3)) except as provided in section 6228 (b) orsection 6230 (c).
(i) Special rule for actions with respect to tax shelter promoter and understatement penalties
No action or proceeding may be brought in the United States Court of Federal Claims for any refund or credit of a penalty imposed by section 6700 (relating to penalty for promoting abusive tax shelters, etc.) or section 6701 (relating to penalties for aiding and abetting understatement of tax liability).
(j) Special rule for actions with respect to estates for which an election under section 6166 is made
(1) In general
The district courts of the United States and the United States Court of Federal Claims shall not fail to have jurisdiction over any action brought by the representative of an estate to which this subsection applies to determine the correct amount of the estate tax liability of such estate (or for any refund with respect thereto) solely because the full amount of such liability has not been paid by reason of an election under section 6166 with respect to such estate.
(2) Estates to which subsection applies
This subsection shall apply to any estate if, as of the date the action is filed—
(A) no portion of the installments payable under section 6166 have been accelerated;
(B) all such installments the due date for which is on or before the date the action is filed have been paid;
(C) there is no case pending in the Tax Court with respect to the tax imposed by section 2001 on the estate and, if a notice of deficiency under section 6212 with respect to such tax has been issued, the time for filing a petition with the Tax Court with respect to such notice has expired; and
(D) no proceeding for declaratory judgment under section 7479 is pending.
(3) Prohibition on collection of disallowed liability
If the court redetermines under paragraph (1) the estate tax liability of an estate, no part of such liability which is disallowed by a decision of such court which has become final may be collected by the Secretary, and amounts paid in excess of the installments determined by the court as currently due and payable shall be refunded.
(k) Cross references
(1) For provisions relating generally to claims for refund or credit, see chapter 65 (relating to abatements, credit, and refund) and chapter 66 (relating to limitations).
(2) For duty of United States attorneys to defend suits, see section 507 of Title 28 of the United States Code.
(3) For jurisdiction of United States district courts, see section 1346 of Title 28 of the United States Code.
(4) For payment by the Treasury of judgments against internal revenue officers or employees, upon certificate of probable cause, see section 2006 of Title 28 of the United States Code.

Source

(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 876; Pub. L. 85–866, title I, § 78,Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1662; Pub. L. 89–713, § 3(a),Nov. 2, 1966, 80 Stat. 1108; Pub. L. 91–172, title I, § 101(i), (j)(56),Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 525, 532; Pub. L. 92–178, title III, § 309(a),Dec. 10, 1971, 85 Stat. 525; Pub. L. 93–406, title II, § 1016(a)(26),Sept. 2, 1974, 88 Stat. 931; Pub. L. 94–455, title XIII, § 1307(d)(2)(F)(viii), title XVI, § 1605(b)(11), title XIX, § 1906(a)(44), (b)(13)(A),Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1728, 1755, 1830, 1834; Pub. L. 96–222, title I, § 108(b)(1)(D)–(F), Apr. 1, 1980, 94 Stat. 226; Pub. L. 96–223, title I, § 101(f)(1)(J),Apr. 2, 1980, 94 Stat. 252; Pub. L. 96–596, § 2(c)(2),Dec. 24, 1980, 94 Stat. 3474; Pub. L. 97–164, title I, § 151,Apr. 2, 1982, 96 Stat. 46; Pub. L. 97–248, title IV, § 402(c)(11),Sept. 3, 1982, 96 Stat. 668; Pub. L. 98–369, div. A, title VII, § 714(g)(1), (p)(2)(H),July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 961, 965; Pub. L. 99–514, title XVIII, § 1899A(58),Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2961; Pub. L. 100–203, title X, § 10712(c)(5),Dec. 22, 1987, 101 Stat. 1330–467; Pub. L. 100–418, title I, § 1941(b)(2)(B)(x),Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1323; Pub. L. 102–572, title IX, § 902(b)(1),Oct. 29, 1992, 106 Stat. 4516; Pub. L. 104–168, title XIII, § 1311(c)(4),July 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 1478; Pub. L. 105–206, title III, § 3104(a),July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 731.)
References in Text

The date of enactment of this title, referred to in subsec. (e), is Aug. 16, 1954.
Amendments

1998—Subsecs. (j), (k). Pub. L. 105–206added subsec. (j) and redesignated former subsec. (j) as (k).
1996—Subsec. (g)(2), (3). Pub. L. 104–168inserted “4958,” after “4955,”.
1992—Subsecs. (e), (i). Pub. L. 102–572substituted “United States Court of Federal Claims” for “United States Claims Court” wherever appearing.
1988—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 100–418substituted “or 44” for “44, or 45”.
1987—Subsec. (g)(2), (3). Pub. L. 100–203inserted “4955,” after “4952,”.
1986—Subsec. (g)(1)(B). Pub. L. 99–514substituted “section 4963” for “section 4962”.
1984—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 98–369, § 714(p)(2)(H), substituted “section 6231 (a)(3)” for “section 6131(a)(3)”.
Subsecs. (i), (j). Pub. L. 98–369, § 714(g)(1), added subsec. (i) and redesignated former subsec. (i) as (j).
1982—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 97–164substituted “United States Claims Court” for “Court of Claims” wherever appearing.
Subsecs. (h), (i). Pub. L. 97–248added subsec. (h) and redesignated former subsec. (h) as (i).
1980—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 96–223inserted reference to chapter 45.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 96–596substituted in par. (1) provision authorizing, with respect to any taxable event, payment of the full amount of the first tier tax as constituting sufficient payment in order to maintain an action under this section with respect to the second tier tax and defining the terms “taxable event”, “first tier tax”, and “second tier tax” as having the respective meanings given to such terms by section 4962 of this title for provision authorizing, with respect to any act or failure to act giving rise to liability under sections 4941, 4942, 4943, 4944, 4945, 4951, 4952, 4971, or 4975 of this title, payment of the full amount of tax imposed under specified subsections of those sections as constituting sufficient payment in order to maintain an action under this section with respect to such act or failure to act.
Pub. L. 96–222substituted in pars. (1) to (3) “4944, 4945, 4951, 4952” for “4944, 4945” and in par. (1) “section 4945 (a) (relating to initial taxes on taxable expenditures), section 4951 (a) (relating to initial taxes on self dealing), 4952(a) (relating to initial taxes on taxable expenditures)” for “section 4945 (a) (relating to initial taxes on taxable expenditures)” and “section 4945 (b) (relating to additional taxes on taxable expenditures), section 4951 (b) (relating to additional taxes on self-dealing), 4952(b) (relating to additional taxes on taxable expenditures)” for “section 4945 (b) (relating to additional taxes on taxable expenditures)”.
1976—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–455, § 1906(b)(13)(A), struck out “or his delegate” after “Secretary”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 94–455, § 1906(a)(44), struck out “instituted after June 15, 1942,” after “res judicata in all suits” and “where the petition to the Tax Court was filed after such date” after “decisions of the Tax Court”.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 94–455, §§ 1307(d)(2)(F)(viii), 1605(b)(11), 1906(b)(13)(A), struck out “or his delegate” after “Secretary” and substituted “chapter 41, 42,” for “chapter 42” and “43, or 44” for “or 43”.
1974—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 93–406, § 1016(a)(26)(A), substituted “chapter 42 or 43” for “chapter 42”.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 93–406, § 1016(a)(26)(B)–(F), substituted “chapter 42 or 43” for “chapter 42” in heading, substituted “4945, 4971, or 4975” for “or 4945”, “section 4945 (a) (relating to initial taxes on taxable expenditures), 4971(a) (relating to initial tax on failure to meet minimum funding standard), 4975(a) (relating to initial tax on prohibited transactions)” for “section 4945 (a) (relating to initial taxes on taxable expenditures)”, and “section 4945 (b) (relating to additional taxes on taxable expenditures), section 4971 (b) (relating to additional tax on failure to meet minimum funding standard), or section 4975 (b) (relating to additional tax on prohibited transactions)” for “or section 4945 (b) (relating to additional taxes on taxable expenditures)” in par. (1), and substituted “4945, 4971, or 4975” for “or 4945” in pars. (2) and (3).
1971—Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 92–178authorized maintenance of suit or proceeding against the United States notwithstanding provisions of section 1502 of Title 28 (relating to certain treaty cases).
1969—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 91–172, § 101(j)(56), inserted reference to chapter 42 taxes.
Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 91–172, § 101(i), added subsec. (g) and redesignated former subsec. (g) as (h).
1966—Subsecs. (f), (g). Pub. L. 89–713added subsec. (f) and redesignated former subsec. (f) as (g).
1958—Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 85–866struck out “district” before “attorneys”.
Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Pub. L. 105–206, title III, § 3104(c),July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 732, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section and section 7479 of this title] shall apply to any claim for refund filed after the date of the enactment of this Act [July 22, 1998].”
Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–168applicable to excess benefit transactions occurring on or after Sept. 14, 1995 and not applicable to any benefit arising from a transaction pursuant to any written contract which was binding on Sept. 13, 1995, and at all times thereafter before such transaction occurred, see section 1311(d)(1), (2) ofPub. L. 104–168, set out as a note under section 4955 of this title.
Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–572effective Oct. 29, 1992, see section 911 ofPub. L. 102–572, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–418applicable to crude oil removed from the premises on or after Aug. 23, 1988, see section 1941(c) ofPub. L. 100–418, set out as a note under section 164 of this title.
Effective Date of 1987 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–203applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 22, 1987, see section 10712(d) ofPub. L. 100–203, set out as an Effective Date note under section 4955 of this title.
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by section 714(g)(1) ofPub. L. 98–369applicable to any claim for refund or credit filed after July 18, 1984, see section 714(g)(4) ofPub. L. 98–369, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1509 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Amendment by section 714(p)(2)(H) ofPub. L. 98–369effective as if included in the provision of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, Pub. L. 97–248, to which such amendment relates, see section 715 ofPub. L. 98–369, set out as a note under section 31 of this title.
Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–248applicable to partnership taxable years beginning after Sept. 3, 1982, with provision for the applicability of the amendment to any partnership taxable year ending after Sept. 3, 1982, if the partnership, each partner, and each indirect partner requests such application and the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate consents to such application, see section 407(a)(1), (3) ofPub. L. 97–248, set out as an Effective Date note under section 6221 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 97–164effective Oct. 1, 1982, see section 402 ofPub. L. 97–164, set out as a note under section 171 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.
Effective Date of 1980 Amendments

For effective date of amendment by Pub. L. 96–596with respect to any first tier tax and to any second tier tax, see section 2(d) ofPub. L. 96–596, set out as an Effective Date note under section 4961 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 96–223applicable to periods after Feb. 29, 1980, see section 101(i) ofPub. L. 96–223, set out as a note under section 6161 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 96–222effective as if included in the provisions of the Black Lung Benefits Revenue Act of 1977, Pub. L. 95–227, see section 108(b)(4) ofPub. L. 96–222, set out as a note under section 192 of this title.
Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Amendment by section 1307(d)(2)(F)(viii) ofPub. L. 94–455effective on and after Oct. 4, 1976, see section 1307(e)(6) ofPub. L. 94–455, set out as a note under section 501 of this title.
For effective date of amendment by section 1605(b)(11) ofPub. L. 94–455, see section 1608(d) ofPub. L. 94–455, set out as a note under section 856 of this title.
Amendment by section 1906(a)(44), (b)(13)(A) ofPub. L. 94–455effective on first day of first month which begins more than 90 days after Oct. 4, 1976, see section 1906(d)(1) ofPub. L. 94–455, set out as a note under section 6013 of this title.
Effective Date of 1974 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–406applicable, except as otherwise provided in section 1017(c) through (i) ofPub. L. 93–406, for plan years beginning after Sept. 2, 1974, and in the case of plans in existence on Jan. 1, 1974, amendment by Pub. L. 93–406applicable for plan years beginning after Dec. 31, 1975, see section 1017 ofPub. L. 93–406, set out as an Effective Date; Transitional Rules note under section 410 of this title.
Effective Date of 1971 Amendment

Pub. L. 92–178, title III, § 309(b),Dec. 10, 1971, 85 Stat. 525, provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply to suits or proceedings which are instituted after January 30, 1967.”
Effective Date of 1969 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 91–172effective Jan. 1, 1970, see section 101(k)(1) ofPub. L. 91–172, set out as an Effective Date note under section 4940 of this title.
Effective Date of 1966 Amendment

Pub. L. 89–713, § 3(d),Nov. 2, 1966, 80 Stat. 1109, provided that: “The amendments made by subsections (a) and (b) [amending this section and section 2502 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure] shall apply to suits brought against officers, employees, or personal representatives referred to therein which are instituted 90 days or more after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 2, 1966]. The amendment made by subsection (c) [amending section 7482 of this title] shall apply to all decisions of the Tax Court entered after the date of enactment of this Act.”
Effective Date of 1958 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 85–866as effective Aug. 17, 1954, see section 1(c)(2) ofPub. L. 85–866, set out as a note under section 165 of this title.
Plan Amendments Not Required Until January 1, 1989

For provisions directing that if any amendments made by subtitle A or subtitle C of title XI [§§ 1101–1147 and 1171–1177] or title XVIII [§§ 1800–1899A] of Pub. L. 99–514require an amendment to any plan, such plan amendment shall not be required to be made before the first plan year beginning on or after Jan. 1, 1989, see section 1140 ofPub. L. 99–514, as amended, set out as a note under section 401 of this title.

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26 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

 

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