Section of Taxation Publications
  VOL. 53
NO. 3
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 Note: The following is an excerpt from the introduction to the article as published in The Tax Lawyer. Author citations have been omitted for brevity. Tax Section members may read the article in its entirety in Adobe Acrobat format.

A Framework for Determining Priority of Tax Liens Pursuant to Section 6323: Amato v. United States
Matthew Freimuth


In Amato v. United States, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho held that a real estate purchaser’s interest in property had priority over a prior perfected judgment lien creditor’s interest and the federal government’s tax lien. As a matter of Idaho law, the real estate contract was a valid agreement based on the doctrine of partial performance. The conveyance gave the purchaser a superior interest against the United States and the judgment lien creditor because it predated those competing interests by approximately five years.

Part I of this Note provides a brief history of section 6323 and discusses the difficulties in determining relative lien priority. Part II outlines the factual background of Amato and the reasoning employed by the District Court. Part III concludes that the court failed to articulate its reasoning in a manner consistent with section 6323.


Published by
Section of Taxation, American Bar Association
With the Assistance of
Georgetown University Law Center


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