Erroneous Refund Suit for R&D Credit Can Proceed

In United States v. Beltecno, the District Court for the Western District of Washington denied the taxpayers motion for summary judgment. The case involves amended tax returns the taxpayer filed to claim research tax credits for tax years 2001 and 2002. The amended tax returns were filed in 2005 and 2006, respectively. After paying the amounts to the taxpayer without auditing the amended tax returns, the IRS audited the taxpayer’s 2005 tax return and determined that the taxpayer was not entitled to a research tax credit. The government then brought suit to recover monies paid for tax years 2001 and 2002. The taxpayer filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming that the government’s erroneous refund suit was vague, erroneous, and meant to harass the taxpayer. The court denied the taxpayer’s motion because the IRS’s twenty-six page Form 866-A set out sufficient justifications as to why the refund claims may have been erroneous to warrant denying summary judgment.