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Florida State University Business Review

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Fla. St. U. Bus. Rev.



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Positive statutory law – principally the Internal Revenue Coe – is the most important source of tax rules. Despite its volume, however, the Code contains many gaps. Tax regulations promulgated by the Department of the Treasury are the principal vehicles for filling the most important gaps.

When consistent with the Code and issued pursuant to proper procedures, Treasure Regulations have the force of law. The validity of Treasury Regulations has been a major battleground in contemporary tax litigation. In the last five years alone, the issue has arisen in high profile cases such as Swallows, Mannella, Lantz, Mayo, Dominion Resources, and Loving.

United States v. Home Concrete & Supply, LLC is the Supreme Court’s most recent fray into the thicket of the validity of Treasury tax regulations. The decision disappointed some because the Court avoided many significant issues raised by commentators or briefed by the parties.

Nonetheless, Home Concrete gives us much to digest. Some reactions to the decision appear below. They are grouped into four headings: (1) litigation balance between the government and taxpayers, (2) retroactivity, (3) deference doctrine, and (4) statutory interpretation. These considerations are developed below after a brief description of the Home Concrete decision.


© 2014 Steve R. Johnson


First published in Florida State University Business Review.

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