Court says IRS has 3 years in tax shelter case

AP News

4/25/2012 10:32:08 AM - AP News

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Internal Revenue Service has only three years to impose additional taxes in a tax shelter case, instead of six years like the government wanted.

The high court on Wednesday ruled for Home Concrete & Supply, LLC, of Salisbury, N.C., in a fight over a tax shelter scheme.

The argument centered in part on "cost basis," or the amount paid for an investment, which is the starting point for calculating the capital gain after selling the investment. The question is whether a large overstatement that then lowers taxes is grounds for extending the three-year limit to six years.

The court, in an opinion written by Justice Stephen Breyer, said taxpayer overstatements do not give the government extra time to audit and levy penalties.