The few who read this blog may remember Steve and Lori Esrig, who featured in my blogpost “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?”, 2/8/12. They were finalists in my Best Excuse For Late Filing sweepstakes. Steve claimed his accountant, who was supposed to prepare the returns for the years at issue, failed to do so “because she had to serve a very long prison sentence for murdering her husband, and the person in her office who took over their account made a slew of mistakes.” T. C. Memo. 2012-28, at p. 18.
But Judge Holmes, The Great Dissenter (The Judge Who Writes Like A Human Being), wasn’t buying it, as Steve adduced no proof of this outré assertion.
Not so Special Trial Judge Armen, The Judge With A Heart, dealing with Andrew M. Ross, Docket No. 19691-10S, filed 9/28/12.
Andy’s on for trial October 10, 2012, and needs a continuance of the trial date to get needed documents. IRS says they’ll make available to Andy and counsel “’a large amount of documentation that petitioner produced during the original audit’ and suggests that this documentation should suffice for trial next month in Peoria. Yet in his pre-trial memorandum respondent states that ‘To date, petitioner has not provided sufficient documentation to support the disallowed deductions under either the Cohan rule or I.R.C. sec. 274 [and that] Petitioner’s failure to maintain adequate records and fully substantiate the deductions claimed for the 2006, 2007, and 2008 taxable years constitutes negligence under I.R.C. sec. 6662.’” Order, at pp. 1-2.
But IRS doesn’t say that the missing documents Andy seeks wouldn’t help his cause. And that won’t play, even in Peoria.
Oh, where are the missing documents? Andy says “the Department of Justice seized all of the tax records that I had pertaining to the case on 4-12-11 [and that] after multiple attempts via my attorney all requests [for the return of such records] have been ignored at this time.” Order, p.1.
And, says STJ Armen: “As exhibits to his motion petitioner attached, inter alia, a copy of a Search And Seizure Warrant dated April 11, 2011, issued by a magistrate judge of the United Stated District Court for the Central District of Illinois that authorized the search of a building owned and/or used by petitioner in Springfield, Illinois and the seizure of, inter alia, all business records (specifically including all tax and client records), all computers and computer-related equipment, and all computer hardware and software (specifically including all internal and peripheral storage devices). Also attached as an exhibit to the motion was a 4-page inventory prepared by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of items seized from petitioner’s premises on April 12, 2011, pursuant to the search and seizure warrant.” Order, p. 1.
Best excuse yet for inability to go to trial. Andy, you’re in the sweepstakes.