In Uncategorized on 07/19/2019 at 16:45

I’ve expatiated on that Obliging Jurist Judge David Gustafson’s overflowing benevolence toward the feckless, hapless pro se often enough.

But today he’s run out of second chances to bestow upon Judith Lee Alston, Docket No. 10936-18L, filed 7/19/19.

For the backstory on Judith Lee, see my blogpost “Obliging? – He’ll Draft Your Motion For You,” 12/21/18, as updated today.

But none of the electronically-transmitted orders, throwing Judith Lee the ropes spun by Judge Gustafson, bounced from Judith Lee’s inbox. And to none was there any response.

“The Court’s records indicate that none of the filings in this case that were sent to Ms. Alston’s email address of record were rejected or undelivered. For all those reasons we will grant the Commissioner’s motion to dismiss for lack of prosecution….” Order, at p. 3.




In Uncategorized on 07/18/2019 at 15:29

Once again a family lawyer is asleep at the switch. The quick-and-cheap split of the dependency income exclusion (one parent gets the exemption in odd-numbered years, the other in evens) in a separation agreement or divorce decree is worthless without Forms 8332 signed and in escrow.

I’ve blogged this again and again.

Yes, I know that Section 151(d)(5)(A) says “In the case of a taxable year beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026 …(T)he term ‘exemption amount’ means zero.”

But there are years prior, and maybe years to come.

Judge Buch has the case of Jason George DeMar, 2019 T. C. Memo. 91, filed 7/18/19, and it’s a Rule 121 on-the-papers.

JG claims he sent in the Form 8332 after he filed his HOH return for the year at issue, while his return was in Examination. And after his loved-once had already taken the exemption on her return for the year at issue, raising potential double-dip.

Judge Buch: “We need not reach the question of whether section 152(e)(2)(B) leaves room for a noncustodial parent to submit Form 8332 or a similar written declaration at some point after filing his or her original return.  The current regulations do not explicitly allow (or prohibit) Form 8332 or a similar written declaration to be submitted during examination or with an amended return.  Sec. 1.152-4, Income Tax Regs.  A proposed regulation explicitly permits a noncustodial parent to submit Form 8332 or a similar written declaration during examination or with an amended return.  Sec. 1.152-5(e)(2)(i), Proposed Income Tax Regs., 82 Fed. Reg. 6387 (Jan. 19, 2017).  But that regulation requires that the custodial parent either did not claim the dependency exemption or filed an amended return removing the claim to the dependency exemption.  Id.  We have no such facts in the record.” 2019 T. C. Memo. 91, at pp. 5-6.

Has any reader seen a malpractice suit by a parent who gets the exemption denied despite compliance with separation agreement or divorce decree, for want of Form 8332 or equivalent?



In Uncategorized on 07/17/2019 at 15:54

No, 400 Second Street, NW, has not become a used-car lot, nor has Judge Vasquez traded in his robes for plaid pants and white shoes. Rather, the salespersons’ slogan is applied to CNC NFTLs where the petitioner earns no income and can’t prove how his credit was dinged so as to hinder collection.

Here’s Deborah P. Richards and Daniel D. Richards, 2019 T. C. Memo. 89, filed 7/17/19, whose only source of income is Social Security and who are accorded CNC status.

Dan tells the SO that the NFTL placed when he defaulted on his installment agreement and got CNC status “…was ‘impacting * * * [his] credit and he * * * [might] not be able to get a car loan’ in the future.” 2019 T. C. Memo. 89, at p. 4.

SO P said that just getting a ding on your credit score doesn’t prevent a NFTL to protect the fisc while you’re in CNC status. (Name omitted).

Now of course my sophisticated readers will cry out as one, “Bronze and Budish!” And they’ll be right; see my blogpost “Cast in Bronze,” 11/24/14. Whatever IRM pt. (Oct. 14, 2013) says, if a petitioner can produce probative evidence that the NFTL would hamper ability to pay, SO must consider that.

But Dan and Deb didn’t raise Budish (they were pro sese, natch). And even if they did, they produced no evidence that the NFTL hurt their inability to pay.

“Unlike the taxpayer in Budish, petitioners do not contend that SO P misinterpreted the IRM in making her determination.  Nor did petitioners present any concrete evidence during the CDP hearing to demonstrate how the NFTL would negatively affect their financial circumstances and credit standing.  Petitioners contend that SO P’s balancing analysis consisted of only ‘superficial boilerplate language’ and that she failed to consider the negative impact that the NFTL would have on petitioners’ credit standing and financial circumstances.  However, unlike the AO in Budish, SO P actually considered Mr. Richards’ argument about petitioners’ credit standing and pursued a followup inquiry.  Specifically, SO P asked whether the NFTL would affect petitioners’ ability to earn income.  After learning from Mr. Richards that their only income source was Social Security, SO P determined that the NFTL was not overly intrusive and was necessary to protect the Government’s interest.  This determination was well within her discretion.” 2019 T. C. Memo. 89, at p. 12. (Name omitted).

So, at 400 Second Street, NW, today, the advertising slogan still remains: Bad credit? No credit? No problem! The NFTL remains in place.

Note I’m not blogging John E. Rogers and Frances L. Rogers, et al., 2019 T. C. Memo. 90, filed 7/17/19. Mr Rogers’ bad bookkeeping, contradictory testimony, and the weight of his past delictions give Judge Goeke lots to say, but it’s the old unsubstantiated and unproven deductions, and they’re very much of a muchness.