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Law Research Papers

Rethinking the statute of limitations on tax crimes

September 22, 2017
Clock photo by Eder Pozo Pérez on Unsplash

A research paper from Ausher M. B. Kofsky of Western New England University looks at whether tax crimes should have shorter statute of limitations periods.


“This Article addressed the public policy of I.R.C. § 6501(e)(1)-(3), (9), which provides the IRS with an unlimited time to determine a tax deficiency arising from fraud, a false tax return, or where the taxpayer has not filed a tax return.

In contrast, more heinous crimes, including rape and child molestation, have finite prosecution limits. Reasons for limits included memories fade, witnesses die, and evidence becomes lost. After reviewing historical doctrines, such as quod nullum tempus occurrit regit (no time runs against the King), the Article analyzed Redstone v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2015-237. (PDF) In Redstone, the IRS in 2013 determined a gift tax deficiency against nearly 90-year old billionaire Sumner Redstone because 41 years earlier, Redstone had transferred stock to his two children.

The Article concluded that an unlimited time to determine a tax was unconscionable, as well as a violation of Constitutional procedural and substantive due process.”

More: Kofsky, Ausher M. B., Because Forever Is Too Long (August 4, 2015). Western New England Law Review, Vol. 37, p. 265, 2015.

Photo: Eder Pozo Pérez.

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