On July 28, 2017, the Tax Court denied the April 14, 2016 Joint Motion to Remand the case to the IRS Whistleblower Office. In the joint motion, the parties represented that the IRS Whistleblower Office had reconsidered its determination. The Tax Court previously issued an order for the parties to file a status report by October 19, 2016, to report the efforts to resolve the case and held the joint motion in abeyance. A similar order was issued on October 25, 2016, for the parties to file a status report on or before April 25, 2017. On April 11, 2017, respondent filed a status report indicating that the IRS Whistleblower Office is prepared to make a revised determination regarding petitioner’s claim and asked the Court to grant the Motion to Remand. On April 20, 2017, petitioner advised the Court that he believes that remand is unnecessary and would needlessly delay the case.
The Court walks through an interesting discussion about when remand would be appropriate. Ultimately, the Court follows what it has previously done in cases where the IRS reopens a claim or reexamines its determination, stating:
We see no reason why remand is required to enable to Office to issue a new final determination letter. Alternatively, if the parties have resolved all issues in this case to their mutual satisfaction, they may employ this Court’s standard procedures for bringing this case to an end. This order does not foreclose the possibility of remand, should we determine that we may properly order one, in a future whistleblower case where a remand would serve a useful purpose.
This resolution follows Whistleblower 21276-13W v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, wherein the Court retained jurisdiction of the claim and required the parties to file status reports while the parties to resolve the case and allow the IRS Whistleblower Office to review, investigate, and evaluate the merits of those whistleblowers’ claim.
We believe that allowing the parties to work to resolve the case this way is similar to allowing taxpayers, who have not already gone to Appeals, to go to Appeals after filing a petition with the Tax Court. Ultimately, this allows the parties to find a resolution while preventing whistleblower cases from being unnecessarily delayed.