Taxpayer complained on appeal. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The reasoning for the affirmance is short, so I quote (footnote omitted):
The Statutory Index provides that for a conviction under the omnibus clause of § 7212(a), either U.S.S.G. § 2J1.2 (Obstruction of Justice) or § 2T1.1 (Tax Evasion) may be appropriate.3 U.S.S.G. App. A. Where, as here, the Statutory Index "specifies more than one offense guideline for a particular statute, the court must 'determine which of the referenced guideline sections is most appropriate for the offense conduct charged in the count of which the defendant was convicted.'" Aquino, 555 F.3d at 127 (quoting U.S.S.G. § 1B1.2 cmt. n. 1).
In determining which of two or more guidelines is "most appropriate," U.S.S.G. § 1B1.2 cmt. n. 1, we consider only the conduct charged in the relevant count of the indictment. See U.S.S.G. § 1B1.2(a); Boney, 769 F.3d at 160; Aquino, 555 F.3d at 129. The indictment here charges that, as part of its efforts to collect back taxes from OLR, the IRS sent CPA a Notice of Levy that directed CPA to submit payments due to OLR to the IRS instead. Cellucci then "endeavor[ed] to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws" by creating a false Release of Levy and transmitting it to CPA, so that CPA would believe it was no longer obligated to submit payment to the IRS and would instead send the payment to OLR. App. 18.
Section 2J1.2, the obstruction of justice guideline, addresses various offenses, including "obstructing a civil or administrative proceeding." U.S.S.G. § 2J1.2 cmt. n. 2. In the context of a prosecution under § 7212(a), an IRS "action" or "proceeding" has been defined as "some step [by the IRS] to investigate a particular taxpayer beyond routine administrative procedures such as those required to accept and process tax filings in the ordinary course." United States v. Miner, 774 F.3d 336, 346 (6th Cir. 2014). The IRS's efforts to collect back taxes from OLR, which included sending the Notice of Levy to CPA, involved more than routine administrative procedures, and thus are appropriately viewed as a "proceeding." Because Cellucci's criminal scheme—an effort to re-direct the payment from CPA to her business, rather than the IRS—directly interfered with that proceeding, the District Court appropriately relied on § 2J1.2 in calculating her sentence.