Vanderbilt Law Review


Debra A. Chini

First Page



Bureaucratic mistakes at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) forced Barbara and David Kaufman to seek a court-ordered injunction prohibiting the IRS from collecting a 14,380 dollar tax assessment for 1980. Even though the Kaufmans had notified the IRS office in Chicago of their new Maine address, the IRS mistakenly mailed the preliminary notice of deficiency to the Kaufmans' prior Illinois address. In addition, the Service mailed the statutory notice of deficiency to another couple also named Barbara and David Kaufman.' Because the Kaufmans never received notice of the proposed deficiency, they did not have an opportunity to contest the tax assessment. The Kaufmans first became aware of the deficiency in 1983 when the IRS seized the refund from their 1982 return in partial satisfaction of the deficiency. Shortly thereafter the taxpayers initiated suit for an injunction against further collection efforts. Once apprised of its errors, the IRS agreed to the entry of a permanent injunction. The Kaufmans then sought to recover their attorney's fees and other litigation costs pursuant to 26 U.S.C. section 7430.