26 U.S. Code § 6201 - Assessment authority
The Secretary shall assess all taxes determined by the taxpayer or by the Secretary as to which returns or lists are made under this title.
Whenever any article upon which a tax is required to be paid by means of a stamp is sold or removed for sale or use by the manufacturer thereof or whenever any transaction or act upon which a tax is required to be paid by means of a stamp occurs without the use of the proper stamp, it shall be the duty of the Secretary, upon such information as he can obtain, to estimate the amount of tax which has been omitted to be paid and to make assessment therefor upon the person or persons the Secretary determines to be liable for such tax.
In any case in which a check or money order received under authority of section 6311 as payment for stamps is not duly paid, the unpaid amount may be immediately assessed as if it were a tax imposed by this title, due at the time of such receipt, from the person who tendered such check or money order.
If on any return or claim for refund of income taxes under subtitle A there is an overstatement of the credit for income tax withheld at the source, or of the amount paid as estimated income tax, the amount so overstated which is allowed against the tax shown on the return or which is allowed as a credit or refund may be assessed by the Secretary in the same manner as in the case of a mathematical or clerical error appearing upon the return, except that the provisions of section 6213(b)(2) (relating to abatement of mathematical or clerical error assessments) shall not apply with regard to any assessment under this paragraph.
The Secretary shall assess and collect the amount of restitution under an order pursuant to section 3556 of title 18, United States Code, for failure to pay any tax imposed under this title in the same manner as if such amount were such tax.
An assessment of an amount of restitution under an order described in subparagraph (A) shall not be made before all appeals of such order are concluded and the right to make all such appeals has expired.
The amount of such restitution may not be challenged by the person against whom assessed on the basis of the existence or amount of the underlying tax liability in any proceeding authorized under this title (including in any suit or proceeding in court permitted under section 7422).
No unpaid amount of estimated income tax required to be paid under section 6654 or 6655 shall be assessed.
Any income tax under chapter 1 assessed against a child, to the extent attributable to amounts includible in the gross income of the child, and not of the parent, solely by reason of section 73(a), shall, if not paid by the child, for all purposes be considered as having also been properly assessed against the parent.
In any court proceeding, if a taxpayer asserts a reasonable dispute with respect to any item of income reported on an information return filed with the Secretary under subpart B or C of part III of subchapter A of chapter 61 by a third party and the taxpayer has fully cooperated with the Secretary (including providing, within a reasonable period of time, access to and inspection of all witnesses, information, and documents within the control of the taxpayer as reasonably requested by the Secretary), the Secretary shall have the burden of producing reasonable and probative information concerning such deficiency in addition to such information return.
For special rules applicable to deficiencies of income, estate, gift, and certain excise taxes, see subchapter B.
2010—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 111–237 added par. (4).
1996—Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 104–168 added subsec. (d) and redesignated former subsec. (d) as (e).
1988—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 100–647, § 1015(r)(1), struck out par. (4) which read as follows: “If on any return or claim for refund of income taxes under subtitle A there is an overstatement of the credit allowable by section 34 (relating to certain uses of gasoline and special fuels) or section 32 (relating to earned income), the amount so overstated which is allowed against the tax shown on the return or which is allowed as a credit or refund may be assessed by the Secretary in the same manner as in the case of a mathematical or clerical error appearing upon the return, except that the provisions of section 6213(b)(2) (relating to abatement of mathematical or clerical error assessments) shall not apply with regard to any assessment under this paragraph.”
Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 100–647, § 7106(c)(2), struck out “or tax imposed by section 3321” after “employment tax”.
1987—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 100–203 substituted “section 6654 or 6655” for “section 6154 or 6654”.
1984—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 98–369, § 474(r)(32), substituted “section 32 or 34” for “section 39 or 43” in heading, and in text substituted “section 34” for “section 39” and “section 32” for “section 43”.
Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 98–369, § 412(b)(5), amended par. (1) generally, substituting “estimated income tax required to be paid under section 6154 or 6654” for “estimated tax under section 6153 or 6154”.
1983—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 97–424 substituted “and special fuels” for “, special fuels, and lubricating oil” after “gasoline”.
Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 98–76 substituted “Federal unemployment tax or tax imposed by section 3321” for “Federal unemployment tax”.
1976—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 94–455, § 1906(b)(13)(A), struck out “or his delegate” after “Secretary”.
Subsec. (a)(3), (4). Pub. L. 94–455, §§ 1206(c)(2), 1906(b)(13)(A), struck out “or his delegate” after “Secretary”, substituted “mathematical or clerical error” for “mathematical error” after “the case of”, and inserted “, except that the provisions of section 6213(b)(2) (relating to abatement of mathematical or clerical error assessments) shall not apply with regard to any assessment under this paragraph” after “upon the return”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 94–455, § 1307(d)(2)(D), substituted “and certain excise taxes” for “chapter 42, and chapter 43 taxes” after “estate, gift”.
1975—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 94–12 inserted reference to section 43 in heading and substituted “oil) or section 43 (relating to earned income),” for “oil),” in text.
1974—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 93–406 inserted reference to chapter 43 taxes.
1970—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 91–258 inserted provision for overstatement of credit allowable by section 39 (relating to certain uses of special fuels) in text and substituted “under section 39” for “for use of gasoline” in heading.
1969—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 91–53 added subsec. (b) heading and par. (2), and redesignated former subsec. (b), including its heading, as par. (1).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 91–172 inserted reference to chapter 42 taxes.
1965—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 89–44 added par. (4).
Amendment by section 412(b)(5) of Pub. L. 98–369 applicable with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1984, see section 414(a)(1) of Pub. L. 98–369, set out as a note under section 6654 of this title.
Amendment by section 474(r)(32) of Pub. L. 98–369 applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1983, and to carrybacks from such years, see section 475(a) of Pub. L. 98–369, set out as a note under section 21 of this title.
Amendment by section 1206(c)(2) of Pub. L. 94–455 applicable with respect to returns filed after Dec. 31, 1976, see section 1206(d) of Pub. L. 94–455, set out as a note under section 6213 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 93–406 applicable, except as otherwise provided in section 1017(c) through (i) of Pub. L. 93–406, for plan years beginning after Sept. 2, 1974, but, in the case of plans in existence on Jan. 1, 1974, amendment by Pub. L. 93–406 applicable for plan years beginning after Dec. 31, 1975, see section 1017 of Pub. L. 93–406, set out as an Effective Date; Transitional Rules note under section 410 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 91–53 applicable with respect to calendar years beginning after Dec. 31, 1969, see section 4(a) of Pub. L. 91–53, set out as an Effective Date note under section 6157 of this title.
Written determinations for this section
These documents, sometimes referred to as "Private Letter Rulings", are taken from the IRS Written Determinations page; the IRS also publishes a fuller explanation of what they are and what they mean. The collection is updated (at our end) daily. It appears that the IRS updates their listing every Friday.
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- Authority of Officers of Internal Revenue Service : 2016-09-09
- Assessment of Criminal Restitution : 2016-04-15
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- Abatements : 2015-06-26
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- Abatements : 2014-06-27
- Assessment of Criminal Restitution : 2014-06-27
- Interest on Underpayment, Nonpayment, or Extensions of Time for Payment of Tax Interest v. No Interest Imposed : 2014-06-27
- Assessment of Criminal Restitution : 2014-01-31
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- Administrative Procedures : 2012-03-16
- Administrative Procedures : 2012-03-16
- Method of Collection : 2012-03-16
- Assessment Authority : 2010-12-10
- Assessment Authority : 2009-02-13
- Assessment Authority : 2004-11-26
- Miscellaneous Taxes : 2004-11-26
- Assessment Authority : 2004-10-29
- Liability and Payment of Employer Tax : 2004-10-29
- Assessment Authority : 2002-10-18
- Frivolous Income Tax Return : 2002-10-18
- General Requirement of Return, Statement, or List : 2002-10-18
- Assessment Authority : 2001-06-08
- Authority to Make Credits or Refunds : 2001-06-08
- Abatements : 2001-06-08
- Amounts Treated as Overpayments : 2001-06-08
- Method of Assessment : 2001-06-08
- Assessment or Collection After Limitation Period : 2001-06-08
- Immediate : 2001-05-18
- Administrative Procedures : 1999-04-23
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