The Federalist Society

United States v. Home Concrete & Supply, LLC - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 05-07-12 featuring Kristin Hickman

May 7, 2012

Kristin E. Hickman

To listen, please right click on the audio file you wish to hear and then select "Save Link As..." or "Save Target As..." After you save the audio file to your computer, you can then listen to it in your audio player of choice.

  United States v. Home Concrete & Supply, LLC - - Post-Decision SCOTUScast - MP3
Running Time: 00:12:45

Kristin HickmanOn April 25, 2012, the Supreme Court announced its decision in United States v. Home Concrete & Supply, LLC, a case involving a dispute over the language of certain tax code provisions and regulations.  Generally, if the IRS believes that a taxpayer’s return has understated the amount of tax owed, the IRS has three years to assess additional tax.  The tax code, however, extends that three-year period to six years when the taxpayer improperly “omits from gross income” a sum that exceeds 25% of the gross income that the taxpayer stated on the return.  The question here was whether an understatement of gross income that occurred when a taxpayer overstated the “basis” in sold property should count as an “omission” from gross income that triggers the extended six-year assessment period.  

The Court held by a vote of 5-4 that the understatement of gross income does not trigger the extended six-year assessment period.  Justice Breyer delivered the majority opinion of the Court, with the exception of Part IV-C.  The Chief Justice and Justices Alito and Thomas joined the opinion in full, while Justice Scalia joined the opinion in all except Part IV-C.  Justice Scalia also filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.  Justice Kennedy filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan.

To discuss the case, we have Kristin Hickman, who is a Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School.

[Return to the SCOTUScast menu]

Related Links

Opinion - April 25, 2012 (PDF)
Oral Argument Transcript - January 17, 2912 (PDF)


The Federalist Society