Substantive Retroactive Remedial Tax Legislation and the Statute of Limitations

Since 1953, Congress has enacted at least forty-eight retroactive amendments to the revenue laws, thirty-nine of which have provided for substantive remedial change. While nine of these thirty-nine amendments have contained specific provisions for extending the limitations period, sixteen have retroactively amended substantive law applicable to years normally barred by the statute of limitations but have not contained a provision extending the limitations period. The question is thus raised whether a provision, silent as to its procedural effect, implicitly repeals or modifies the applicable statute of limitations on claims for refunds brought under the retroactive change in the law.