This Article shows that courts should reject such arguments because the rule of lenity has no place in the construction of the income tax provisions in Subtitle A of the tax code. The rule of lenity makes sense when applied to a statute that compels or prohibits some type of behavior, but income tax provisions do not compel or prohibit anything. Those provisions simply describe consequences associated with particular transactions. Consequently, applying the rule of lenity can lead to anomalous results.
Andy S. Grewal,
Why Lenity Has No Place
in the Income Tax Laws,
81 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol81/iss4/10