United States District Court, D. Delaware
Wagner, Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice,
Tax Division, Washington, D.C.; Counsel for Plaintiff.
R. Mayer, New Castle, Delaware; Pro Se Defendant.
ANDREWS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
the United States of America, commenced this action to
collect unpaid federal income tax and statutory additions to
tax owed by Defendant James R. Mayer. (D.l. 1). Defendant
proceeds prose. Plaintiff moves for summary
judgment. (D.l. 16). A briefing schedule was entered, but
Defendant did not file an opposition to the motion.
(See D.l. 17). Therefore, briefing on the matter is
did not file a return for the 2003 tax year by the April 15,
2004 deadline. (D.l. 16-1 at 3). Plaintiff submitted a
certified copy of assessments and payments relating to the
2003 tax year. (Id. at 2-17). On November 17, 2005,
the Internal Revenue Service prepared a substitute for the
2003 tax return, and the IRS sent Defendant a statutory
notice of deficiency on February 21, 2006. (Id.) On
August 7, 2006, the IRS assessed tax owed of $25, 937, plus
interest and penalties for failure to file a return or pay
the amount due. Id.
sent several delinquency notices to Defendant. Notices of
balance due were sent on August 7, 2006, September 11, 2006,
and October 16, 2006. (Id. at 15). On November 20,
2006, the IRS sent Defendant a notice of intent to levy.
(Id.].On February 22, 2007, Defendant filed a signed
tax return claiming tax owed of $16, 363. (Id. at
19-23). The IRS acknowledged receipt of the 2003 tax return,
advised Defendant there was an error on the return, and
informed Defendant that his income should be reported as
non-employee compensation as opposed to employee
compensation. (Id. at 25). On May 10, 2007,
Defendant submitted an amended return and reported tax due of
$25, 867:07. (Id. at 27-28). The IRS accepted the
return and abated the difference of $69.93 between its prior
assessment and Defendant's amended return. (Id.
commenced this action on July 25, 2016. (D.I. 1). When
Defendant did not timely answer or otherwise appear, default
was entered, and Plaintiff moved for default judgment. (D.I.
7). According to IRS records, as of December 14, 2015,
Defendant owed income tax assessments totaling $27, 354.97,
the amount including unpaid tax, penalties, and interest.
(D.I. 7-1 at 1-2). Defendant's Answer to the Complaint
raises two affirmative defenses: (1) his tax liability was
discharged by bankruptcy; and (2) the suit is time-barred by
the ten-year statute of limitations. (D.I. 14).
moves for summary judgment on the grounds that: (1) Defendant
does not dispute the amount of tax owed; and (2)
Defendant's affirmative defenses fail as a matter of law.
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). When determining whether a genuine issue
of material fact exists, the court must view the evidence in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all
reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007); Wishkin v.
Potter, 476 F.3d 180, 184 (3d Cir. 2007). A dispute is
"genuine" only if the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving
party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242,
247-49 (1986). The Court will not grant the entry of summary
judgment without considering the merits of Plaintiff's
unopposed motion. See Stackhouse v. Mazurkiewicz,
951 F.2d 29, 30 (3d Cir. 1991) (district court should not
have granted summary judgment solely on the basis that a
motion for summary judgment was not opposed).
does not contest or challenge the calculation of tax owed.
"Once the IRS assesses a tax, a rebuttable presumption
arises that the assessment is correct." Brounstein
v. United States, 979 F.2d 952, 954 (3d Cir. 1992)
(citing Psaty v. United States, 442 F.2d 1154, 1160
(3d Cir. 1971)). The introduction of a certified copy of
assessments and payments shifts the burden to the taxpayer to
show that the assessment is incorrect. Brounstein,
979 F.2d at 1160.
evidence of record includes certified copies from the IRS
showing the dates and amounts of assessments, payments,
credits, and other actions relating to tax year 2003. (D.I.
16-1 at 2-17). Therefore, Plaintiff met its burden and has
made a prima facie case that the assessment is correct. The
burden shifted to Defendant to ...