United States District Court, D. Maine
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON PETITION TO ENFORCE IRS
H. Rich III United States Magistrate Judge.
April 18, 2018, the government filed a petition pursuant to
26 U.S.C. §§ 7402(b) and 7604(a) to enforce an
Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) summons that had
been served upon respondent Andrew Williamson on August 17,
2017. See Petition To Enforce Internal Revenue
Service Summons (“Petition”) (ECF No. 1). The
following day, I ordered Williamson to appear before the
court on May 30, 2018, to show cause why he should not be
compelled to comply with the summons. See ECF No. 3.
The day before that hearing, on May 29, 2018, the government
filed the first of three motions, all of which I granted, for
a continuance of the hearing to enable Williamson's
voluntary compliance with the IRS summons. See ECF
neither complied with the summons nor appeared for the
hearing ultimately scheduled for September 17, 2018. The
government filed a Motion for Issuance of Report and
Recommendation Enforcing Internal Revenue Service Summons
(“Motion”) (ECF No. 13). I grant the Motion.
Based on the government's showing in support of the
Petition and Williamson's failure to appear and show
cause why an order should not issue, I recommend that the
court grant the Petition and order Williamson to comply with
the summons within seven days of the court's
Petition is supported by the Declaration of Revenue Officer
Meredith West, which is attached thereto as Exhibit B and
made under penalty of perjury. Attached to the Petition as
Exhibit A are the associated summons and certificate of
service. On the strength of the prima facie showing
set forth in the declaration, I ordered Williamson to appear
before the court on May 30, 2018, to show cause why he should
not be compelled to comply with the summons. See ECF
29, 2018, the government moved to continue that hearing,
stating that the IRS revenue officer assigned to the case had
spoken to Williamson by telephone and that, although
Williamson had indicated a willingness to comply with the IRS
summons, he was unable to appear for the scheduled hearing.
See ECF No. 4 at 1, ¶¶ 3-4. I granted that
motion, and the hearing was reset for June 28, 2018.
See ECF Nos. 5-6.
26, 2018, the government filed a second motion to continue
the hearing, stating that the IRS revenue officer had met
with Williamson and, although a second meeting was expected
to occur that day or the following day, Williamson needed
further time to comply fully with the summons. See
ECF No. 7 at 2, ¶¶ 5-6. I granted the second
motion, and the hearing was reset for August 28, 2018.
See ECF Nos. 8-9.
August 22, 2018, the government filed a third and
“final” motion to continue the hearing, stating
that Williamson had ceased to have further contact or
communications with the IRS revenue officer and appeared
virtually certain not to appear for the August 28 hearing.
See ECF No. 10 at 2, ¶¶ 4-5. The
government sought a two-week continuance to allow Williamson
a final opportunity to comply with the summons. See
id. at 2, ¶ 5. I granted the third motion, and the
hearing was reset for September 17, 2018. See ECF
Nos. 11-12. After Williamson failed to appear at the hearing,
the government filed its motion seeking a recommended
decision that the court enforce the summons. See
Motion; [Proposed] Recommended Order Enforcing Internal
Revenue Service Summons (ECF No. 13-1), attached thereto.
matter comes before the court pursuant to 26 U.S.C.
§§ 7402(b) and 7604, which confer jurisdiction on
the district court to enforce an IRS summons by compelling a
person to appear, testify, and produce books, papers, and
other documents or data in response to an administrative
summons. The only jurisdictional prerequisite is that the
person must reside in, or be found in, the district.
See 26 U.S.C. § 7402(b). Williamson resides in
Jefferson, Maine. See Petition at 1, ¶ 3.
order to obtain enforcement of an IRS administrative summons,
the government need demonstrate only
that the investigation will be conducted pursuant to a
legitimate purpose, that the inquiry may be relevant to the
purpose, that the information sought is not already within
the [IRS] Commissioner's possession, and that the
administrative steps required by the [Internal Revenue] Code
have been followed - in particular, that the “Secretary
or his delegate, ” after investigation, has determined
the further examination to be necessary and has notified the
taxpayer in writing to that effect.
United States v. Powell, 379 U.S. 48, 57-58 (1964).
See also Copp v. United States, 968 F.2d 1435, 1437
(1st Cir. 1992). An IRS administrative summons may not be
issued solely for the purpose of aiding in a criminal
showing is made, the burden effectively shifts to the
respondent to demonstrate good cause for a failure to comply
with the summons; for example, that “the summons had
been issued for an improper purpose, such as to harass the
taxpayer or to put pressure on him to settle a collateral
dispute, or for any other purpose ...