Akers v. U.S.
Generally, a taxpayer must pay the full amount of an income tax deficiency assessed by the Internal Revenue Service, before the taxpayer may sue the IRS, alleging an overpayment. The pro se plaintiff, Eileen Akers alleged that she was entitled to a refund for an overpayment of taxes in 2002. The government moved to dismiss and argued that Eileen Akers continued to owe the government $661.53 for 2002. Akers filed a reply, asserting that she had since paid her 2002 tax bill. The government objected that Akers was required to pay income taxes before she filed suit, and she continued to owe $.19. In a tax refund suit, the taxpayer must pay the assessed tax in full and then file a request for a refund. In Magnone v. U.S., a 1990 decision, the 2nd Circuit wrote, "[T]he full payment rule requires as a prerequisite for federal court jurisdiction over a tax refund suit, that the taxpayer make a full payment of the assessment, including penalties and interest." The plaintiff did not fully pay her 2002 taxes before she filed suit. Payment of the 2002 income tax after Akers filed suit did not cure the jurisdictional defect. The District Court lacked jurisdiction over her request for a refund, and it granted the government's motion to dismiss.