CITES BY TOPIC:  assessment
  1. Background:
  2. The authority for doing assessment comes from:

  3. Under 26 U.S.C. 6065, all assessment documents MUST be signed UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY.  The title of the section says "returns", but 26 U.S.C. 7806(b) says the title means nothing.  The body of the section doesn't even mention returns.

  4. The Assessment Statute Expiration Date (ASED) is 3 years after a return is filed.  Beyond that point, no assessment may be executed on an overdue tax.  The return is considered "filed" on April 15 of the year after the year for which.  If the return is filed after the due date, then the ASED clock starts when it was actually "filed".  See 26 C.F.R. 301.6501(b)-1 for details on when a return is considered filed.

  5. IRS Form 23C Assessment Certificate:

  6. Substitute for Returns (SFR):

  7. A cumulative list of assessments for a "taxpayer" appears on the Summary Record of Assessments (RACS Report 006).  

    • PDF Click here for example

    • This is a computer generated report from the IRS' Revenue Accounting System, or RACS. 

    • Each assessment listed on this report has an associated Document Locator Number (DLN) which you can request through the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA)

  8. A liability must exist in statute (not just regulation) in order to authorize an assessment officer to create a 23C Assessment Certificate.  See Great IRS Hoax section 5.4.4.

  9. We are all "nontaxpayers" under Subtitle A unless we volunteer to be "taxpayers" by completing and submitting a return, which amounts to assessing ourselves with a liability.  This is the foundation of what it means to have a tax system based on "voluntary self assessment" (see Flora v. United States, 362 U.S. 145 (1959) and section 5.6.1 of the Great IRS Hoax).  At the point when we volunteer to assess ourselves and submit a return, we must pay the tax indicated on that return under 26 C.F.R. 1.6151-1 and become "liable".  That regulation says "shall ... be paid".

    26 C.F.R. §1.6151-1 Time and place for paying tax shown on returns


    (b)(2) Where tax is shown on the return. In any case in which a taxpayer files a return on Form 1040A pursuant to paragraph (a)(7) of Sec. 1.6012-1 and shows the amount of tax on the return, the unpaid balance of the tax shall, without assessment or notice and demand, be paid not later than the date fixed for filing the return.

  10. We the people enjoy an especial status as a "nontaxpayer" until such time as we take on the mantle of an artificial entity and by implication of the special privilege we engage in and the special license required we may surrender our sovereign status and become a "taxpayer"....but this event cannot take place without full knowledge and willful participation by the individual. For cases dealing with the term "nontaxpayer" see:

    • PDF Long v. Rasmussen, 281 F. 236, 238 (1922);
    • Rothensis v. Ullman, 110 F.2d. 590(1940);
    • Raffaele v. Granger, 196 F.2d. 620 (1952);
    • Bullock v. Latham, 306 F.2d. 45 (1962);
    • Economy Plumbing & Heating v. United States, 470 F.2d. 585 (1972);
    • South Carolina v. Ragan, 465 U.S. 367 (1984).

Why the Government Can't Lawfully Assess Human Beings with an Income Tax Liability Without Their Consent, Form #05.011(OFFSITE LINK)- SEDM Forms page

IRS Form 23C Assessment Certificate

Internal Revenue Code,  26 U.S.C. Subtitle F, Chapter 63: Assessment

Morton v. Ruiz, 415 U.S. 199, 94 S.Ct. 1055, 39 L.Ed.2d 270 (1974):

Where the rights of individuals are affected, it is incumbent upon agencies to follow their own procedures. This is so even where the internal procedures [in the Internal Revenue Manual and 26 CFR, Part 601] are possibly more rigorous than otherwise would be required. Service v. Dulles, 354 U.S. 363, 388 (1957); Vitarelli v. Seaton, 359 U.S. 535, 539 -540 (1959). The BIA, by its Manual, has declared that all directives that "inform the public of privileges and benefits available" and of "eligibility requirements" are among those to be published. The requirement that, in order to receive general assistance, an Indian must reside directly "on" a reservation is clearly an important substantive policy that fits within this class of directives. Before the BIA may extinguish the entitlement of these otherwise eligible beneficiaries, it must comply, at a minimum, with its own internal procedures.”

[Morton v. Ruiz, 415 U.S. 199, 94 S.Ct. 1055, 39 L.Ed.2d 270 (1974)]

26 U.S.C. 6501: Limitations on Assessment and Collection

PDF 26 U.S.C.A. 6501: Limitations on Assessment and Collection

26 C.F.R. 301.6501(a)-1: Period of Limitations Upon Assessment and Collection

Title 26: Internal Revenue
Limitations on Assessment and Collection

301.6501(a)-1   Period of limitations upon assessment and collection.

(a) The amount of any tax imposed by the Code (other than a tax collected by means of stamps) shall be assessed within 3 years after the return was filed. For rules applicable in cases where the return is filed prior to the due date thereof, see section 6501(b). In the case of taxes payable by stamp, assessment shall be made at any time after the tax became due and before the expiration of 3 years after the date on which any part of the tax was paid. For exceptions and additional rules, see subsections (b) to (g) of section 6501, and for cross references to other provisions relating to limitations on assessment and collection, see sections 6501(h) and 6504.

(b) No proceeding in court without assessment for the collection of any tax shall be begun after the expiration of the applicable period for the assessment of such tax.

26 C.F.R. 601.104(c )(1):

Sec. 601.104 Collection functions.

(c) Enforcement procedure--

(1) General.

Taxes shown to be due on returns, deficiencies in taxes, additional or delinquent taxes to be assessed, and penalties, interest, and additions to taxes, are recorded by the district director or the director of the appropriate service center as "assessments." Under the law an assessment is prima facie correct for all purposes. Generally, the taxpayer bears the burden of disproving the correctness of an assessment. Upon assessment, the district director is required to effect collection of any amounts which remain due and unpaid. Generally, payment within 10 days from the date of the notice and demand for payment is requested; however, payment may be required in a shorter period if collection of the tax is considered to be in jeopardy. When collection of income tax is in jeopardy, the taxpayer's taxable period may be terminated under section 6851 of the Code and assessment of the tax made expeditiously under section 6201 of the Code.

[32 FR 15990, Nov. 22, 1967, as amended at 32 FR 20645, Dec. 21, 1967; 33 FR 17234, Nov. 21, 1968; 34 FR 6424, Apr. 12, 1969; 35 FR 7112, May 6, 1970; 36 FR 7584, Apr. 22, 1971; 38 FR 4956,Feb. 23,1973; 45 FR 7251, Feb. 1, 1980; 49 FR 36499, Sept. 18, 1984; 49 FR 40809, Oct. 18, 1984; T.D. 8685, 61 FR 58004-58009, Nov. 12, 1996.]

26 C.F.R. §301.6203-1:  Method of Assessment:

Title 26: Internal Revenue
In General

301.6203-1   Method of assessment.

The district director and the director of the regional service center shall appoint one or more assessment officers. The district director shall also appoint assessment officers in a Service Center servicing his district. The assessment shall be made by an assessment officer signing the summary record of assessment. The summary record, through supporting records, shall provide identification of the taxpayer, the character of the liability assessed, the taxable period, if applicable, and the amount of the assessment. The amount of the assessment shall, in the case of tax shown on a return by the taxpayer, be the amount so shown, and in all other cases the amount of the assessment shall be the amount shown on the supporting list or record. The date of the assessment is the date the summary record is signed by an assessment officer. If the taxpayer requests a copy of the record of assessment, he shall be furnished a copy of the pertinent parts of the assessment which set forth the name of the taxpayer, the date of assessment, the character of the liability assessed, the taxable period, if applicable, and the amounts assessed.

PDF  A History of the Certified Assessed Tax in the United States Supreme Court Reports-by Dr. Ed Rivera, Attorney at Law

PDF  Brafman v. United States, 384 F.2d 863 (1967):

“It appears that the requirement of the applicable Treasury Regulation—that an assessment officer sign the assessment certificate [form 23C]—is consistent with the literally mechanical procedure for recording of liability.  The recordation is to be accomplished through “machine operations”, but the actual and final assessment step, that step which establishes a prima facie case of taxpayer liability, can be taken only with the approval of a responsible officer of the Internal Revenue Service.  What is important in any case is that assessment is not automatic upon recordation; it requires the action of an assessment officer.  That action, as defined explicitly in the Treasury Regulations, is the signing of the certificate.”

“As the district court said in United States v. Lehigh, W.D.Ark.1961, 201 F.Supp. 224, 234, this is both true and immaterial:

“Any procedural defense is in a sense “technical.”  The procedures set forth in the Internal Revenue Code were prescribed for the protection of both the Government and the taxpayer.  Neglect to comply with those procedures may7 entail consequences which the neglecting party must be prepared to face, whether such party be the taxpayer or the Government.

“Certainly the courts have not hesitated to enforce strictly the Code requirement that a taxpayer’s returns must be signed to be effective.  Thus, unsigned returns, even with remittances, have been viewed as nullities from the standpoint of imposition of penalties and of commencement of the running of the statute of limitations.  It has availed the taxpayer little that his failure to sign was inadvertent.”

“Finally, where state taxation is involved compliance with a statutory provision requiring an assessment list to be signed by the assessors is usually considered essential to the validity of further proceedings.”  84 C.J.S. Taxation 473 (1954).

“Since the assessment certificate in this case was not signed by the proper official, as prescribed by the applicable Treasury Regulation, within the statutory period after the filing of the estate tax return, this suit for collection of any deficiency is barred by the statute of limitations.” 

Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.  127 S.Ct. 2553, 2563 (U.S.,2007)

"Of course, a taxpayer has standing to challenge the collection of a specific tax assessment as unconstitutional; being forced to pay such a tax causes a real and immediate economic injury to the individual taxpayer. See, e.g., Follett v. Town of McCormick, 321 U.S. 573, 64 S.Ct. 717, 88 L.Ed. 938 (1944) (invalidating tax on preaching on First Amendment grounds). "

[Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.  127 S.Ct. 2553, 2563 (U.S.,2007)]

PDF Botta v. Scanlon, 288 F.2d. 504, 508 (1961):

"A reasonable construction of the taxing statutes does not include vesting any tax official with absolute power of assessment against individuals not specified in the states as a person liable for the tax without an opportunity for judicial review of this status before the appellation of 'taxpayer' is bestowed upon them and their property is seized..."

[Botta v. Scanlon, 288 F.2d. 504, 508 (1961)]

PDF Long v. Rasmussen, 281 F. 236, 238(1922).

"The revenue laws are a code or system in regulation of tax assessment and collection. They relate to taxpayers, and not to nontaxpayers. The latter are without their scope. No procedure is prescribed for nontaxpayers, and no attempt is made to annul any of their rights and remedies in due course of law. With them Congress does not assume to deal, and they are neither of the subject nor of the object of the revenue laws..."

"The distinction between persons and things within the scope of the revenue laws and those without is vital."

[Long v. Rasmussen, 281 F. 236, 238(1922)]

Lane County v. Oregon, 74 U.S. 71 (1868)

In his work on the Constitution, the late Mr. Justice Story whose praise as a jurist is in all civilized lands, speaking of the clause in the Constitution giving to Congress the power to lay and collect taxes, says of the theory which would limit the power to the object of paying the debts that, thus limited, it would be only a power to provide for the payment of debts then existing. [Footnote 4] And certainly if a narrow and limited interpretation would thus restrict the word "debts" in the Constitution, the same sort of interpretation would in like manner restrict the same word in the act. Such an interpretation needs only to be mentioned to be rejected. We refer to it only to show that a right construction must be sought through larger and less technical views. We may, then, safely decline either to limit the word "debts" to existing dues, or to extend its meaning so as to embrace all dues of whatever origin and description.

What, then, is its true sense? The most obvious, and, as it seems to us, the most rational answer to this question is that Congress must have had in contemplation debts originating in contract or demands carried into judgment, and only debts of this character. This is the commonest and most natural use of the word. Some strain is felt upon the understanding when an attempt is made to extend it so as to include taxes imposed by legislative authority, and there should be no such strain in the interpretation of a law like this.

We are the more ready to adopt this view because the greatest of English elementary writers upon law, when treating of debts in their various descriptions, gives no hint that taxes come within either, [Footnote 5] while American state courts of the highest authority have refused to treat liabilities for taxes as debts in the ordinary sense of that word, for which actions of debt may be maintained.

The first of these cases was that of Pierce v. City of Boston, [Footnote 6] 1842, in which the defendant attempted to set off against a demand of the plaintiff certain taxes due to the city. The statute allowed mutual debts to be set off, but the court disallowed the right to set off taxes. This case went, indeed, upon the construction of the statute of Massachusetts, and did not turn on the precise point before us, but the language of the court shows that taxes were not regarded as debts within the common understanding of the word.

The second case was that of Shaw v. Pickett, [Footnote 7] in which the Supreme Court of Vermont said,

"The assessment of taxes does not create a debt that can be enforced by suit, or upon which a promise to pay interest can be implied. It is a proceeding in invitum."

The next case was that of the City of Camden v. Allen, [Footnote 8] 1857. That was an action of debt brought to recover a tax by the municipality to which it was due. The language of the Supreme Court of New Jersey was still more explicit: "A tax, in its essential characteristics," said the court, "is not a debt nor in the nature of a debt. A tax is an impost levied by authority of government upon its citizens or subjects for the support of the state. It is not founded on contract or agreement. It operates in invitum. A debt is a sum of money due by certain and express agreement. It originates in and is founded upon contracts express or implied."

These decisions were all made before the acts of 1862 were passed, and they may have had some influence upon the choice of the words used. Be this as it may, we all think that the interpretation which they sanction is well warranted.

We cannot attribute to the legislature an intent to include taxes under the term debts without something more than appears in the acts to show that intention.

The Supreme Court of California, in 1862, had the construction of these acts under consideration in the case of Perry v. Washburn. [Footnote 9] The decisions which we have cited were referred to by Chief Justice Field, now holding a seat on this bench, and the very question we are now considering, "What did Congress intend by the act?" was answered in these words:

"Upon this question, we are clear that it only intended by the terms debts, public and private, such obligations for the payment of money as are founded upon contract."

In whatever light, therefore, we consider this question, whether in the light of the conflict between the legislation of Congress and the taxing power of the states, to which the interpretation, insisted on in behalf of the County of Lane, would give occasion, or in the light of the language of the acts themselves, or in the light of the decisions to which we have referred, we find ourselves brought to the same conclusion, that the clause making the United States notes a legal tender for debts has no reference to taxes imposed by state authority, but relates only to debts in the ordinary sense of the word, arising out of simple contracts or contracts by specialty, which include judgments and recognizances. [Footnote 10]

Whether the word "debts," as used in the act, includes obligations expressly made payable or adjudged to be paid in coin has been argued in another case. We express at present, no opinion on that question. [Footnote 11]

The judgment of the Supreme Court of Oregon must be

[Lane County v. Oregon, 74 U.S. 71 (1868)]

 C.I.R. v. Trustees of L. Inv. Ass'n., 100 F.2d.18 (1939):

"And by statutory definition the term "taxpayer" includes any person, trust or estate subject to a tax imposed by the revenue act. ...Since the statutory definition of taxpayer is exclusive, the federal [and state] courts do not have the power to create nonstatutory taxpayers for the purpose of applying the provisions of the Revenue Acts..."

[ C.I.R. v. Trustees of L. Inv. Ass'n., 100 F.2d.18 (1939)]

Internal Revenue Manual (IR.M.), Section  Request for Record of Assessment and Certain Internal Transcripts  (10-01-2004)
Request for Record of Assessment and Certain Internal Transcripts

  1. Authority to provide a taxpayer or his/her representative a copy of the Record of Assessment is provided by IRC section 6203 and in accordance with IRC section 6103 .
  2. Upon specific request, taxpayers or their representatives may receive what are normally regarded as internal use transcripts. These include, but are not limited to, MFTRA-C, TXMOD, ENMOD, etc. Under the following conditions, and with careful review and sanitizing, these requests may be honored.
  3. Request for internal use transcripts should be processed according to the following guidelines:
    If Then
    Requestor is primary taxpayer Sanitize items mandated below.
    Requester is authorized third party with"full authority" Sanitize items mandated below.
    Requestor is authorized third party for a specific issue or form or tax period
    1. Sanitize all the mandated items plus any items not covered by the authorization.
    2. Send to Disclosure for review and release.
    Requester is secondary taxpayer
    1. Sanitize all the mandated items below.
    2. Send to Disclosure for review and release.
    1. Internal use transcripts must be carefully sanitized before release. Mandated items to be sanitized include Transaction Codes (TCs) 596, 91X, 940, 942, DIF and SERFE scores, and the following entries in the entity portion of the modules: CRINV (including any following notations) and all freeze codes.
    2. Black out items to be sanitized using a grease pencil or other marker, pen, or pencil which will make the information unreadable. Care must be taken that the sanitizing is complete. If necessary to ensure proper sanitizing, use correction fluid and cover-up tape. Photocopy the transcript and check that the redacted information cannot be discerned in any way on the photocopy (such as by holding the page to a bright light). Send the photocopy to the requestor and maintain the original according to local practice.
    3. Some authorizations are limited to certain returns or certain years. Others provide "full authority" .
    4. There is no legal definition for "full authority" . This is a term of convenience used to denote the type of authorizations (normally Form 2848, but other formats could also be valid) commonly signed by taxpayers to allow disclosure to third parties, such as accounting firms, of all information relating to normal business operations of a taxpayer. It includes authorization to disclose information for multiple tax periods and multiple forms or types of returns.
  4. Do not provide account information to persons other than the taxpayer unless such person is authorized to receive the tax information as prescribed by IRC section 6103(c) or (e) See IRM 11.3.3and IRM 11.3.2.
    1. Use Command Code CFINK or RFINK to verify the identity of the person, other than the taxpayer, authorized to receive the information.
    2. Contact the Disclosure Office or functional disclosure coordinator if any questions arise regarding releasing information to a third party.
  5. The following information can be furnished if requested by an authorized person:
    • A transcript of the type of tax and tax period(s) requested.
    • A copy of Form 4340, Certificate of Assessments, Payments and Other Specified Matters or Form 5204, Record of Accounts.
  6. Do not furnish the following information:
    • Copy of the official NMF Transcripts
    • Copies of internal use forms or documents such as Form 2475, Request for Transcript of Taxpayer Account
    • Microfilm printouts
  7. Forward requests for Non-Master File returns and tax periods to the NMF function for research as outlined in IRM , Automated Non-Master File, unless you have a login and password for the Automated Non-Master File terminal.
  8. If certification is NOT required for a BMF or IMF account:
    1. See IRM, TFTRA Transcripts.
    2. Use Command Code MFTRA, Request Type "X" , for a specific literal transcript.
  9. When responding to the taxpayer, use an appropriate letter. If using Letter 387C, Record of Account, along with the literal transcript:
    1. When the literal transcript displays a debit balance, use paragraph "K." It is not necessary to recompute penalty and interest, unless the taxpayer has specifically requested the information.
    2. When the literal transcript displays a credit or full paid balance use paragraph "J" .

Internal Revenue Manual (I.R.M.), Section 4.15.3:  Assessment Procedures

Internal Revenue Manual (I.R.M.), Section (06-30-1999): Confirming Assessments  (06-30-1999)
Confirming Assessment

  1. After the jeopardy/termination assessment is processed by the service center, the service center will provide Case Processing Support with confirmation that the assessment has been made.

  2. The service center will provide Case Processing Support with a confirmation copy of the MF or NMF assessment.

  3. Master file Assessment — A confirmation copy of Form 3552, Prompt Assessment Billing Assembly, or TY–26, Form 17–A Statement of Tax Due, is mailed to the area office by the service center after processing. The form must be associated with the control copy in Case Processing Support .

  4. Non-master file assessment — A confirmation copy of Form 6335, Statement of Tax Due the Internal Revenue Service, is mailed to the area office by the service center after processing. The form must be associated with the control copy in Case Processing Support .

  5. Upon receipt of Form 3552 or Form 6335 in Case Processing Support, the form will be reviewed to verify that the assessment has been made. Verify the name, address, TIN, and tax period on Form 3552 or Form 6335 for consistency with Form 2859.

  6. The statute control examiner will be notified in order to close the case from the open statute control file.

  7. Upon request, the service center will withhold manual and/or computer billing.

  8. Verification Errors — If any errors are detected in Form 3552 or Form 6335, immediately contact the service center for issuance of a corrected bill. If verification of the assessment is not received, the Case Processing Support Manager, or designated employee must follow-up with the service center.

  9. Follow-up will be done in sufficient time to prevent barred assessments.

  10. Follow-up will be done three weeks from the 23C assessment date for non-statute assessments.