See my blogpost “You’ve Got to Be More Specific”, 4/19/11.
Nothing new in Tax Court on Friday, 8/10/12, except a Designated Order from Judge Lewis (right way to spell “Lewis”, Judge) Carluzzo.
The Tax Court website instructs us that “(D)esignated orders may exclude routine, nonsubstantive orders such as scheduling orders or rulings on motions for extension of time. Designated orders are not a complete inventory of all orders of the Court nor are these versions official documents of record. Designation practices of Judges vary; some select more of their orders for posting here than others.” In short, Designated Orders are snapshots of a Judge’s life in Court. And the Judges select the snapshots.
This one is interesting because IRS could have saved time and money by being specific. The order here dismisses the petition for redetermination of deficiencies for lack of prosecution. Petitioner asked for a continuance on the day of trial, and IRS moved to dismiss.
Judge Carluzzo holds off on both, sends the parties off, and asks for a status report. Petitioner gives none, but IRS states “on June 12, 2012, the parties conferred and ‘resolved five out of eleven of the issues asserted in the notice of deficiency.’”
Judge Carluzzo, a patient jurist, goes on to state: “Nevertheless, as of the date of respondent’s status report, certain substantiating documents long promised by petitioner had yet to be provided to respondent. The reductions, if any, in the deficiencies here in dispute as a result of the resolution of the five issues referenced in respondent’s status report are not apparent from anything submitted.”
So we don’t know what the final number is, IRS not having told us exactly to what IRS and petitioner agreed. But Judge Carluzzo has had it with petitioner, and dismisses the petition.
Now Section 7459(d) tells us what the Tax Court has to do when a petition is dismissed in a redetermination: “If a petition for a redetermination of a deficiency has been filed by the taxpayer, a decision of the Tax Court dismissing the proceeding shall be considered as its decision that the deficiency is the amount determined by the Secretary. An order specifying such amount shall be entered in the records of the Tax Court unless the Tax Court cannot determine such amount from the record in the proceeding * * *”
So there’s a judgment for IRS in whatever amounts IRS and petitioner agreed to. Plus Section 6662(a) penalties, of course.
But wouldn’t it have made Judge Carluzzo’s life a lot simpler if IRS had specified in the status report exactly what IRS’ deal was with petitioner? And what was IRS’ bottom line?
Oh, by the way, the Order is Ogungbayi v. Commissioner, Docket No. 17493-11 S, filed 8/10/12.
Yes, you have to be more specific.