In Uncategorized on 06/26/2013 at 23:42

 Believe it or not, I have one who styles him/herself “Your Fan”. S/he addressed me today from cyberspace, drawing my attention to the ongoing saga of John Crimi and family.

You may remember my blogposts “Stick It”, 2/14/13, and “An Interest(ing) Question – Or Two”, 6/11/13, which set forth the sad tale of the Crimis and their charitable land donations.

Having emerged from 2013 T. C. Memo. 51, filed 2/24/13, with some of their deduction intact, the Crimis went on to fight over Section 6404(g) abatement of interest, the last hurdle before entering judgment and closing the cases.

But Judge Laro sent off the Crimis with a homework assignment in Docket No. 13252-09, filed 6/11/13: “They must file, within a week, ‘a Memorandum of Points and Authorities, not to exceed 10 pages, addressing (1) whether we have jurisdiction over petitioner’s claim under section 6404(g) and (2) in any event why petitioner should not be deemed to have waived any issues relating to interest.’” 6/11 Order, p. 2.

Now I thought that was the end. But My Fan, that industrious person, turned up a further order from Judge Laro, same Docket No., filed June 21, 2013, which interestingly (sorry, no pun intended) doesn’t show up on the Tax Court website Orders page for that date, or on the Crimi list of orders, but does show up on the Docket Search link.

So My Fan found the Stealth order. It doesn’t say anything new, but here it is, offered for completeness. Crimi’s counsel did their homework, timely filed their Memorandum of Points and Authorities, and Judge Laro kicks it to the curb.

“Petitioner argues that we have jurisdiction over the issue relating to suspension of interest under section 6404(g) because the petition seeks our review of respondent’s determinations made in the notice of deficiency, which petitioner believes includes a determination as to interest suspension under section 6404(g). In other words, the instant petition, as petitioner sees it, seeks our review of respondent’s determination as to tax deficiency under section 6212 as well as respondent’s purported determination as to interest suspension under 6404(g).” 6/11/13 Order, at p. 2.

But one SNOD can cover a multitude of taxpayer sins, and one separate sin may give rise to Tax Court jurisdiction, where another may not.

Judge Laro: “But for the Court to have jurisdiction over the Commissioner’s determinations, each of the determinations itself must be reviewable by this Court. Section 6404(g) requires the Commissioner to stop the accruing of interest if certain conditions are present. But we find no statutory grant of authority for the Court to review the Commissioner’s failure to do so.” 6/21 Order, at p. 2.

Here’s the chapter and verse: “Section 6404(h) confers on the Court jurisdiction to determine whether ‘the Secretary’s failure to abate interest under this section was an abuse of discretion.’ Sec.6404(h) (emphasis added). Section 6404(d) and (e) provides the Commissioner the discretion to abate interest if certain conditions are met; these are the only references to the Commissioner’s discretion to abate interest in section 6404. Surely, if Congress intended to grant the Court jurisdiction to review the Commissioner’s decision not to suspend the accruing of interest, which is not discretionary under section 6404(g), it would have clearly said so. See Goode v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2006-48, 91 T.C.M. (CCH) 901, 905-906 (2006).” 6/21 Order, at pp. 2-3.

So, since the Crimis agreed to everything else, Judge Laro orders and decides the deficiency.

Thanks, Fan.


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