In Uncategorized on 11/22/2017 at 16:39

For many years my spouse and our lineal descendants knew Saturday morning at 11 a.m. (and later at 10 a.m.) would find me cackling at the banter emanating from the kitchen radio, as Click and Clack delved into mysterious noises and the skullduggeries attendant to vehicles propelled by internal combustion engines. I miss those guys.

Well, just now, as I was contemplating hitting the trail for home in anticipation of the pre-turkey scramble, thanks to Judges Gerber and Lauber early unloading the day’s blogfodder, who should deliver a vehicular designated hitter but The Great Dissenter, a/k/a The Judge Who Writes Like a Human Being, s/a/k/a The Implacable, Incontrovertible, Irrefragable, Ineffable, Ineluctable, Indefatigable, Indomitable, Insuperable, and Indubitable Foe of the Partitive Genitive, Old China Hand and Master Silt Stirrer, Judge Mark V. Holmes?

And it’s an off-the-bencher. Featuring the categorization of SUVs: are they automobiles (passenger vehicles) or trucks (business vehicles)?

Judge Holmes has the answer for Charles Asong-Morfaw, Docket Nos. 10629-14 and 13601-14, filed 11/22/17, but one of these consolidated cases settle pre-trial.

Chas bought a Toyota RAV 4 too late for the 100% bonus depreciation deduction, but timely for the 50% bonus. See Section 168(k)(1)(A). He claims he used the RAV4 entirely for business, but has a big-time problem with proving that. His records make no allocations, and include commuting as well as road trips.

“But we’ll begin by noting that Mr. Asong-Morfaw’s cars, both the three that he shared with members of his family and the Toyota, are what are called ‘listed property’ under section 280F(d) (4) (A) (i) and if the RAV being an SUV is not regarded as an automobile, it’s still a vehicle used for personal transportation, which would make it listed property under 280F(d)(4)(A)(ii).” Order, Transcript, at p. 5.

Now the 50% bonus applies to listed property, which is also “qualified property.” But Section 168(k)(2) sends us over the Section 280(f)(b)(1). And Chas flunks the “predominantly used in a qualified business” test for want of proof.

So Chas is relegated to Section 168(g) MACRIS, and all he gets is mileage. IRS allowed him the mileage he claimed on his 1040, even though Chas put in a mileage log on the trial which claimed less.

Judge Holmes has to check on the stipped-and-settled matters before deciding whether to give IRS a clean win, or send Chas and IRS off for a Rule 155 beancount.

But maybe Judge Homes is mellowing just a little. “So I have to continue on in my analysis and can’t simply rely on the effective date of this extra bonus depreciation created for a couple of years earlier in this decade.” Order, Transcript, at p. 7. (Emphasis added).



In Uncategorized on 11/22/2017 at 15:31

The family law types deal with these, mostly. But here’s Judge Lauber, The Philosopher-Judge, settling one on multiple notices in a pre-holiday designated hitter, The Coca-Cola Company and Subsidiaries, Docket No. 31183-15, filed 11/22/17.

Win-your-case-at-discovery wonks will find this order more appetizing than the stuffed-poultry cliché on tomorrow’s menu.

The Cokers put in a total of twenty-two (count ‘em, twenty-two) affidavits in support of pre-trial, trial and post-trial suppression of business documents. “Lock ‘em up!” the Cokers cry.

IRS says the Cokers paint with too broad a brush, echoing the famous Arkansas rejoinder “Youse gots to be mo’ ‘pecifc!”

Finally, Judge Lauber holds a phonathon, gets more paper from the Cokers and IRS, drafts his own order, gets comments, and comes up with the following.

“Petitioner has the burden of showing ‘good cause’ under Rule 103(a). After careful review of petitioner’s affidavits, we conclude that it has shown good cause for protecting certain types of documents that were created at certain points in time. However, in order to protect the public’s right of access to this Court’s proceedings, we believe that petitioner’s proposed protective order should be modified to limit the scope of protection afforded. Taking respondent’s objections into account, and endeavoring to strike a reasonable balance between petitioner’s desire for protection and the public’s right of access, we have set forth below the protective order that will govern the treatment of petitioner’s confidential information during pre-trial proceedings, the Special Trial Session of this Court…, and post-trial proceedings.” Order, at p. 2. (Footnote omitted, but it keeps interim seals in place on documents until redacted versions show up to swap in.)

Judge Lauber then crafts thirteen (count ‘em, thirteen) pages of an order of protection, scrupulously to protect our right to know.

Now we know Tax Court is on hiatus for the Day of Digestion, Friday, November 24, 2017. So how many of y’all will be waiting on line on Monday morning at the Glasshouse at 400 Second Street, NW, in The City of the Pardoned Turkey (the one with feathers), to get tickets to view the edited Coke hoard? PACER, anyone?


In Uncategorized on 11/22/2017 at 15:06

Doesn’t Get It For TFRPs

Judge Gerber has bad news for Joaquin V. Leon-Guerrero, 2017 T. C. Memo. 232, filed 11/22/17, as he nails Joaquin for $59K.

Joaquin claims a cabal of Department of Labor, Department of Defense, a Bankruptcy Court and the bankruptcy trustee frittered away money owed to what seems to be a government contractor with which he was connected in some responsible person capacity, so the company couldn’t pay the withholding.

Tough turkey, says Judge Gerber. Joaquin had a shot at Appeals; but his arguments are futile, whether made there or here.

“Even if petitioner were afforded an opportunity to present his evidence and arguments concerning the underlying liabilities and penalties in this judicial proceeding, his arguments focus on the reasons they were not paid and not on whether they should have been assessed.  The question presented by respondent’s notice of intent to levy on petitioner’s property is not whether he can afford to pay or would have paid but for extraneous circumstances but whether petitioner has valid outstanding liabilities that subject his assets to collection.  In other words, petitioner does not seek to show that the liabilities are not valid or that payments to respondent were misapplied.” 2017 T. C. Memo. 232, at p. 5.

Doesn’t matter what prevented you from paying.  Remember poor Ray Fouche? Or maybe you remember Tim and Stacey Bogart? No? Then see my blogpost “Leftovers,” 3/19/14, and the other and further blogposts therein cited.

Joaquin offered no collection alternatives, being pro se, of course. OIC ETA  never came up.

To all to whom these presents come, Happy Thanksgiving