Eric Dostal

Document Type

Research Memorandum

Publication Date




The Anti–Injunction Act is a provision of the U.S Code that prohibits any court from impeding the Internal Revenue Service from collecting an assessed tax. The Circuits have applied the Anti–Injunction Act to bankruptcy proceedings in two different ways. When the IRS seeks to assess a tax against a corporate fiduciary of a bankrupt corporation, as when the IRS tries to collect a penalty associated with unpaid payroll taxes, the Circuits have held that the Anti–Injunction Act allows the IRS to collect the funds it is entitled to without any interference. However, when the IRS attempts to collect unpaid income taxes from debtors without allowing the Bankruptcy Court the opportunity to directly assess the validity of the debt, the Circuits have found that the Anti–Injunction Act does not prohibit a court from enjoining the IRS’s collection efforts. Two cases illustrate these different applications of the Anti–Injunction Act: J.J. Re–Bar Corp. v. United States, 644 F.3d 952 (9th Cir. 2011) and Bostwick v. United States, 521 F.2d 741 (8th Cir. 1975).


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