Section of Taxation Publications
  VOL. 53
NO. 3
Contents | TTL Home

 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.

Equitable Recoupment-Is it Beyond the Tax Court’s Jurisdiction?: Estate of Branson v. Commissioner
Luis C. Marini


In Estate of Branson v. Commissioner, the Tax Court held that it had jurisdiction to hear an equitable recoupment claim. The court reasoned that the Tax Reform Act of 1969 placed it in standing similar to a federal district court, thus allowing the Tax Court to exercise jurisdiction over equitable remedies. Moreover, the court held that equitable recoupment falls within the court’s jurisdiction under section 6214(a). Allowing the claim for equitable recoupment, the court further held that the required elements of the claim were met and awarded the taxpayer relief.

Part I of this Note summarizes the background and facts of Branson. Part II explains the opinion of the Tax Court. Part III analyzes the court’s opinion and argues that it interpreted the Tax Reform Act of 1969 incorrectly, and improperly disregarded Supreme Court precedent in holding that it had jurisdiction to hear an equitable recoupment claim. Finally, Part IV discusses the implications of this decision for future tax planning.


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


If you are an ABA member, you can receive The Tax Lawyer and the Section NewsQuarterly, both quarterly publications, when you join the Section of Taxation. Anyone can subscribe to The Tax Lawyer by contacting the ABA Service Center.