Attorney-at-Law

SICK SICK SICK

In Uncategorized on 09/26/2012 at 16:31

No, this blogpost is not about Jules Pfeiffer, cartoonist, whose long-running Village Voice strip was so entitled. It concerns an SO whose disregard of the medical condition of A. DeeWayne Jones and his wife Shirley Jones (not to be confused with the Academy-Award winner of that name) earns a remand to Appeals from Judge Marvel in T. C. Memo. 2012-274, filed 9/26/12.

DeeWayne is a dentist for the county, working the local hoosegow. Shirley is retired. DeeWayne’s health is not good, he says, and Shirley’s is poor. DeeWayne has to keep working to pay his bills and the $51K of accumulated unpaid income taxes he owes, and which he doesn’t contest.

IRS levies on a bank account he has for $900, then gives him a CDP on the NFTL they want to file for the rest. DeeWayne wants a collection alternative, claiming he’s old, sick and broke, and Shirley is likewise.

There’s much back-and-forth about the worth of some real estate DeeWayne owns, but the house burned down and the SO included some insurance proceeds in DeeWayne’s RCP even though they were trust funds.

The point I’m making here is that the SO said that DeeWayne and Shirley were in good health, denied any OIC, and demanded payment in full. To the NOD denying any collection alternative, “The Appeals Office attached a statement prepared by Settlement Officer X and a copy of her worksheet. In the statement Settlement Officer X stated that Dr. Jones is ‘in apparent good health’ and that Mrs. Jones has ‘no known health problems.’” T. C. Memo. 2012-274, at p. 11. (Name omitted).

After deconstructing the real estate valuation arguments, with a sideswipe at Zillow.com as a source for real property valuations, Judge Marvel goes on: “Additionally, the notice of determination does not disclose that Settlement Officer X gave any consideration to the impact petitioners’ advanced age and asserted poor health might have on petitioners’ ability to pay, as required by IRM pt. 5.8.4.4. In fact, the statement attached to the notice of determination appears to confirm that Settlement Officer X gave no consideration to petitioners’ age or claims of poor health. There is no documentation in the administrative record showing that Settlement Officer X ever asked for documentation of or disputed petitioners’ asserted poor health, and respondent has offered no explanation for Settlement Officer X’s statement that Dr. Jones is ‘in apparent good health’ and that Mrs. Jones has ‘no known health problems.’ Although the Appeals Office does not have to list ‘every single fact that it considered in arriving at * * * [its] determination’, Barnes v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2006-150, 92T.C.M. (CCH) 31, 35 (2006), aff’d in part, vacated in part sub nom. Keller v. Commissioner, 568 F.3d 710 (9th Cir. 2009), it cannot misstate or fail to address significant and obviously relevant facts.” T. C. Memo. 2012-274, at p. 23 (Footnote omitted, but read it. DeeWayne’ income comes from his profession, not investments; if he’s sick, he can’t work).

So remand to Appeals is appropriate, as IRS has too many gaps to fill to rescue SO X’s flawed analysis.

But isn’t this just another example of an overworked, under-resourced IRS, where the need to close cases becomes more important than closing them correctly? Congress, please copy.

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