Section 6851 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 allows the Internal Revenue Service to close a taxpayer's reporting period prematurely when the collection of the income taxes would be jeopardized by delay. The ramifications of section 6851 are potentially devastating to a taxpayer. The history of the procedure, especially in the recent past, raises serious questions about the amount of men, money, and cooperation which has been involved in the Service's use of the procedure. The district court's decision, which was based on the Supreme Court's decision in Enochs v. Williams Packing & Navigation Co., is discussed in Section II. Section III discusses the broader decision of the court of appeals and its precedent. Finally, Section IV discusses the problems raised by the decision and suggests answers to those problems.

I. Introduction

II. The District Court Decision

III. The Court of Appeals Decision

IV. The Issues … A. Propriety of the Inquiry … B. Scope of the Inquiry—The Impact of Willits … 1. Burden of Proof … 2. Judicial Attitude toward the IRS Narcotics Project … 3. Evaluating the Liability Formula

V. Conclusion