Attorney-at-Law

DELAY OF THE GAME

In Uncategorized on 07/12/2013 at 16:46

It’s a game that two can play. First, Notice 2013-43, published 7/12/13, delays implementation of FATCA withholding for six months, so as to permit FFIs, PFFIs and QIs to get their acts together, and IRS to get the website up and running. Here’s the link.

And now for a really cool taxpayer tactic. You really wouldn’t notice it if you didn’t read between the lines of a couple of recent Tax Court orders.

I call it the “Lost in the Woods” variant on delay of the game. First up, Mordechai Yosef & Esther Gottfried, Docket No. 21322-12S, filed 7/10/13. Looks like a run-of-the-mill motion to dismiss for want of prosecution, and motion by petitioners to vacate denied. Petitioners never claim they didn’t get the notice of trial or the pretrial order, or give any adequate reason why they were no-shows. Dismissal stands.

Simple, right? Except Mordy and Esther live in Israel; and they requested trial in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Now a quick search on the internet finds that only airline that flies between Israel and Aberdeen, SD, lists the cheapest round-trip flight from Israel to Aberdeen, SD, at twice the cost of a flight from Israel to New York City. So why Aberdeen, SD?

Might be a one-off, maybe.

Or maybe not. See Ayala Misheli & Udi Jarlip, Docket No. 17656-12S, filed 7/12/13. Ayala & Udi coincidentally live in Israel, and promised to send settlement documents to IRS, but requested more time because of the difficulty of intercontinental transmission.

Time granted, but then the lines of communication went dead, and no further words or papers from Ayala & Udi.

Judge Goeke gives Ayala & Udi one last chance, but then will grant a motion by IRS to dismiss for want of prosecution.

Oh, I almost forgot. Place of trial is Billings, Montana. A quick internet search shows tickets just as expensive as Aberdeen, SD, and a 22 hour travel time.

Lost in the woods? Or delay of the game? In both cases petitioners were pro se, but someone was thinking.

Maybe Tax Court needs a rule that those seeking to lay venue need to show some nexus to the desired place of trial.

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