Supreme Court Considers IRS Penalties on Tax Shelters

Shielding money from the government isn't automatically illegal


The U.S. Internal Revenue Service's practice of slapping steep, 40-percent penalties on participants in certain alleged tax shelters will soon come to trial before the Supreme Court.

Though it rarely hears tax matters, the court has decided to weigh in on a case involving Texas billionaire Billy Joe "Red" McCombs, a former owner of professional sports teams.

The court's decision, not expected until June 2014, will likely have implications beyond McCombs' case, tax lawyers said.

Oral arguments will be scheduled when the high court's next term begins in October.