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Welch v. United States

750 F.2d 1101 (1985)

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Welch v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

750 F.2d 1101 (1985)

Facts

Sharon Welch and other taxpayers (the taxpayers) (plaintiffs) claimed war tax credits on their income-tax returns that were an estimation of the proportion of taxes they paid that went toward military spending. There are no allowances for war tax credits in the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (defendant) assessed a penalty against the taxpayers under § 6702(a) of the IRC, which allowed penalties against taxpayers who included frivolous and incorrect information on their tax returns. The IRS’s interpretive guidelines for § 6702(a) included war tax credits as an example of a frivolous claim that would warrant a penalty. The taxpayers challenged the penalty as a violation of the freedom-of-information provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), § 552(a)(1)–(2), because the IRS did not publish its interpretive guidelines in the Federal Register. The district court upheld the penalties and dismissed the taxpayers’ case. The taxpayers appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Perez-Gimenez, J.)

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