Keith Fogg, director of the Federal Tax Clinic at Harvard Law School’s Legal Services Center, has made available for download his article “Two Recent Circuit Level Decisions Appear to Dispute View That the Refund Claim Filing Requirement is Jurisdictional (Part 1)”, published on the Procedurally Taxing blog. The abstract is as follows:
At the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022, a pair of cases came out which may create a turning point in the view of courts regarding a court’s jurisdiction in refund suits where a possible defect in or the absence of an administrative claim exists. In the Third Circuit the case of Morton v. United States Virgin Islands, No. 21-1292 (3rd Cir. 2021) held that the district court erred in applying a failure-to-state-a-claim analysis to the issue of Mr. Morton’s Article III standing to bring the claim. In Brown v. United States, No. 2021-1721 (Fed. Cir. 2022), the court held that the dismissal of the Browns’ refund suit for lack of jurisdiction was incorrect but sustained the decision below because the Browns failed to prove that their claim for refund was duly filed.
The Morton opinion is not precedential but the Brown opinion is. This post will focus on Morton and is the shorter of the two posts. The Brown case sets the scene for an even more recent Court of Federal Claims case which will be discussed in a forthcoming post.
Posted by Marin Larkin, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.