Steve Dixon Comments on Missed Opportunity in Supreme Court Denial of Altera Petition for Certiorari in Tax Notes

"Supreme Court Dashes Altera's Hope for Review"

Tax Notes

06.23.2020

Steve Dixon commented on the Supreme Court's decision to deny Altera's petition for certiorari in Altera Corp. and Subsidiaries v. Commissioner, stating it was unfortunate the Court did not take the opportunity to elaborate on how the APA applies to Treasury regulations. Dixon noted the Court's decision last week in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, which dealt with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, addressed similar APA issues central to Altera's argument for certiorari. Specifically, in that case the Court held that the Department of Homeland Security's justification for rescinding DACA (which justification DHS tried to strengthen after it made its decision to rescind) was, as a matter of administrative law, insufficient. "In Altera, the taxpayer had a good argument that the government's explanation in litigation for its cost-sharing regulation was meaningfully different from the explanation Treasury proffered when promulgating the regulation," Dixon said. He stated that Altera's argument deserved a closer reexamination given the Court's DACA decision.