The APA's Arbitrary and Capricious Standard and IRS Regulations

Patrick J. Smith

Ivins, Phillips & Barker

July 16, 2012

Tax Notes, Vol. 136, 2012

The Supreme Court’s Mayo decision and the D.C. Circuit’s Cohen decision have made clear that principles of administrative law generally, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in particular, apply to tax law and the IRS just as they do to all other federal agencies. The APA’s arbitrary and capricious standard provides a powerful but seldom-used tool for taxpayers in challenging IRS regulations, because the IRS seems unaware of the requirements imposed by the standard and even instructs its personnel to draft preambles to regulations in a way that is inconsistent with what the standard requires.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 9

Keywords: administrative procedure act, APA, State Farm, arbitrary and capricious standard, Mayo, IRS

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Date posted: July 18, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Smith, Patrick J., The APA's Arbitrary and Capricious Standard and IRS Regulations (July 16, 2012). Tax Notes, Vol. 136, 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2111136

Contact Information

Patrick J. Smith (Contact Author)
Ivins, Phillips & Barker ( email )
1700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006
United States
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