As by now everyone knows, the IRS appealed its loss in Grecian Magnesite Mining1 (‘‘GMM’’) in the Tax Court up to the D.C. Circuit. What no one seems to know is why. Given the relatively small amount of tax at issue, there must be something more going on here. And in terms of the merits of the case, the IRS already ‘‘won’’ when Congress enacted a new tax on the sale of certain partnership interests by foreign persons. 2 So why bother?

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