(a) Civil penalty for frivolous tax returns
A person shall pay a penalty of $5,000 if—
(1) such person files what purports to be a return of a tax imposed by this title but which—
(A) does not contain information on which the substantial correctness of the self-assessment may be judged, or
(B) contains information that on its face indicates that the self-assessment is substantially incorrect, and
(2) the conduct referred to in paragraph (1)—
(A) is based on a position which the Secretary has identified as frivolous under subsection (c), or
(B) reflects a desire to delay or impede the administration of Federal tax laws.
(b) Civil penalty for specified frivolous submissions
(1) Imposition of penalty
Except as provided in paragraph (3), any person who submits a specified frivolous submission shall pay a penalty of $5,000.
(2) Specified frivolous submission
For purposes of this section—
(A) Specified frivolous submission
The term “specified frivolous submission” means a specified submission if any portion of such submission—
(i) is based on a position which the Secretary has identified as frivolous under subsection (c), or
(ii) reflects a desire to delay or impede the administration of Federal tax laws.
(B) Specified submission
The term “specified submission” means—
(i) a request for a hearing under—
(I) section 6320 (relating to notice and opportunity for hearing upon filing of notice of lien), or
(II) section 6330 (relating to notice and opportunity for hearing before levy), and
(ii) an application under—
(I) section 6159 (relating to agreements for payment of tax liability in installments),
(II) section 7122 (relating to compromises), or
(III) section 7811 (relating to taxpayer assistance orders).
(3) Opportunity to withdraw submission
If the Secretary provides a person with notice that a submission is a specified frivolous submission and such person withdraws such submission within 30 days after such notice, the penalty imposed under paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to such submission.
(c) Listing of frivolous positions
The Secretary shall prescribe (and periodically revise) a list of positions which the Secretary has identified as being frivolous for purposes of this subsection. The Secretary shall not include in such list any position that the Secretary determines meets the requirement of section 6662(d)(2)(B)(ii)(II).
(d) Reduction of penalty
The Secretary may reduce the amount of any penalty imposed under this section if the Secretary determines that such reduction would promote compliance with and administration of the Federal tax laws.
(e) Penalties in addition to other penalties
The penalties imposed by this section shall be in addition to any other penalty provided by law.
(Added Pub. L. 97–248, title III, §326(a), Sept. 3, 1982, 96 Stat. 617; amended Pub. L. 109–432, div. A, title IV, §407(a), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 2960.)
2006—Pub. L. 109–432 amended section catchline and text generally, substituting provisions relating to civil penalties for frivolous tax returns and submissions, listing of frivolous positions, reduction of penalty to promote compliance with tax laws, and application of other penalties, consisting of subsecs. (a) to (e), for provisions relating to civil penalty for frivolous tax returns and application of other penalties, consisting of subsecs. (a) and (b).
Effective Date of 2006 Amendment
Amendment by Pub. L. 109–432 applicable to submissions made and issues raised after the date on which the Secretary first prescribes a list under subsec. (c) of this section, see section 407(f) of Pub. L. 109–432, set out as a note under section 6320 of this title.
Section 326(c) of Pub. L. 97–248 provided that: “The amendments made by this section [enacting this section] shall apply with respect to documents filed after the date of the enactment of this Act [Sept. 3, 1982].”