Erma Schrader, Petitioner-Appellant, v.
Commissioner of

Internal Revenue,


No. 88-1907




F.2d 361; 1990 U.S. App. LEXIS 18220; 90-2 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) P50,545; 66
A.F.T.R.2d (RIA) 5701


January 30, 1990, Argued

October 18, 1990, Decided

October 18, 1990, Filed


PRIOR HISTORY:      [**1]   On Appeal
from the United States Tax Court; Tax Ct. No. 4724-88.


DISPOSITION:   Dismissed.



COUNSEL:     Counsel     for Petitioner-Appellant: Barbara C.
Applegarth, argued, Frost & Jacobs, Cincinnati, Ohio, Erma Schrader,
Louisville, Kentucky.


Counsel for Respondent-Appellee: William F. Nelson, Internal
Revenue Service, Washington, District of Columbia, Gary R. Allen, Acting Chief,
William S. Rose, Robert S. Pomerance, David English Carmack, Joel A.
Rabinovitz, argued, United States Department of Justice, Appellate Section Tax
Division, Washington, District of Columbia.


JUDGES:  Nathaniel R. Jones and James
L. Ryan, Circuit Judges,  [**2]  and Douglas W. Hillman, Chief District Judge.


*      The  Honorable  Douglas  W.
Hillman,     Chief Judge       of    the

United States District Court for the Western District of
Michigan, sitting by designation.






Appellant, Erma Schrader appeals the Tax Court's dismissal of her   petition  
for   review   of   a
deficiency in her 1983 federal income tax. Because we find dismissal of one
year of a multi-year petition is not a final 
appealable  order,  we 
dismiss this appeal for lack of jurisdiction.




Appellee, the Commissioner of Internal
Revenue, determined a deficiency in appellant's federal income tax for three
years: 1983, 1984 and 1985.  On March 8,
1988, the taxpayer filed a pro se petition for redetermination in the Tax Court
objecting to any income tax deficiencies for all three years. The Commissioner
moved to dismiss the taxpayer's petition as to tax year

1983  for  the  reason  that  it  was



untimely pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6213. On  August 
3,  1988,  the 
Tax  Court issued an order
granting the Commissioner's motion and dismissing the 1983 claim, but still
leaving the claims for 1984 and 1985 to be adjudicated. This appeal followed.




While neither party addressed the issue of this Court's jurisdiction in
its briefs and argument, we are obliged to raise it sua sponte whenever reason for inquiry exists.  Liberty
Mutual Ins. Co. v. Wetzel, 424 U.S. 737, 740, 96 S. Ct.

1202, 47 L. Ed. 2d 435 (1976);Ambrose v. Welch, 729 F.2d 1084 (6th Cir.

1984) (per curiam).


Our jurisdictional authority to
review  decisions  of 
the  Tax  Court stems from 26 U.S.C. § 7482(a), which
provides  in  pertinent  part:  "The
United States Court of Appeals . . . shall have exclusive jurisdiction to
review the decisions of the Tax Court

. . . in the same manner and to the same extent as decisions of
the district courts in civil actions tried without a jury." An appeal of
this nature, challenging the dismissal of one year in a multi-year petition, in
the civil context would require certification from the district court in order to be appealable. Fed. R.
Civ. P. 54(b). However, because no analogue to this certification procedure applies
to the Tax Court, the  appealability
remains an open question.


The definition of "decision" for the purposes of determining
appealability [**4]  under 26 U.S.C. §

7482(a) was specifically addressed by this  Circuit 
in Sampson  v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 710

F.2d 262 (6th Cir. 1983). Factors we considered relevant to the
appealability question there included whether the order would be reviewable
later, should the immediate appeal be refused,  [*363]  and whether

ruling disposed
of the entire case. See also, Louisville Builders Supply Co. v.
Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 294 F.2d 333 (6th Cir. 1961).


Applying these factors to the instant
case counsels us to conclude that the Tax Court's order is not appealable at
this juncture. Obviously an order pertaining only to one year
of a multi-year petition does not dispose of the entire case. Furthermore, the
taxpayer is in no way impeded from challenging the Tax Court's order regarding
the 1983 deficiency upon resolution of the remaining claims.


We reach the same conclusion under the
analysis applied with respect to district court cases under the final judgment rule embodied in 28 U.S.C. §

Determining whether or not an order is a final decision "requires
that  'the  inconvenience 
[**5]   and costs of piecemeal
review' be weighed against 'the danger of denying justice by delay.'"United States v. Michigan,

F.2d 503, 506 (6th Cir. 1990), quoting
Gillespie v. United States Steel Corp., 379 U.S. 148, 152, 85 S. Ct. 308,
311, 13 L. Ed. 2d 199 (1964). The court, as well as the public,
has a compelling interest in avoiding multiple appeals from a single
proceeding whenever possible. Justice will not be compromised by requiring
that   appeals   from  
a   multi-year petition  be 
brought  together  upon final  disposition  of  the
Indeed,  in  many 
instances consideration of all related claims together enhances the
decision-making process.


Other circuits confronted with this
issue have reached divergent results. While at least two other circuits have
implicitly held such orders would be appealable,  see,  Commission 
of Internal Revenue v. Smith Paper, Inc.,

F.2d 126, 129 (1st Cir. 1955); Wilson v.
Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 564 F.2d 1317 (9th Cir. 1977) (per curiam),
cert. denied, 439 U.S.



832, 99 S. Ct. 110, 58 L. Ed. 2d 127 (1978), only the Second
Circuit squarely addressed the [**6]
In Estate of Yaeger v. Commissioner of
Internal Revenue, 801 F.2d 96, 98 (2nd Cir. 1986) the Second
Circuit held that "Tax
Court decisions are appealable only if they dispose of an entire  case."

we adopt the Second Circuit's reasoning and hold that until the Tax Court
dispositively rules upon the taxpayer's claims for 1984 and 1985, this court
does not have jurisdiction over the appeal.


Therefore, this appeal is DISMISSED

lack of appellate jurisdiction.