In Uncategorized on 12/31/2013 at 15:12

No, this is not about Ray Fouche, the victimized bus operator (see my blogposts “The Cover Up”, 11/23/11 and “The Cover Up – Uncovered”, 4/24/13).

This is about the most commented-upon topic of my blogposts, the ineffectual whistleblower statute, Section 7623.

More than one frustrated whistleblower has vented his (it’s always “his”) spleen to me about how all IRS does is stonewall, and Tax Court duly rubberstamps whatever IRS tells them. And I have commented myself on TIGTA’s failure to address the problems in administration; see my blogpost “Another Whistleblower Gets Blown”, 8/30/13.

So there’s no surprise as that obliging jurist, Judge David Gustafson, apparently at the behest of a K Street law firm, conveniently removes from public view any sign of the alleged skullduggery uncovered by Joseph (“Fighting Joe”) Insinga. K Street, as we all know, is the home of the Beltway influence peddlars. As someone remarked, “Where the carcass is, there will the vultures be gathered”.

Remember Fighting Joe Insinga? No? See my blogposts “Did Nothing”, 3/13/13, “Perpetual Discovery”, 3/21/13,  “A Voyage of Discovery”, 3/30/13, and “Youth Wants To Know”, 4/24/13. Fighting Joe fought the good fight, but was stymied by the delaying tactics so easily utilized in 7623 cases.

But Fighting Joe fights one last battle. Even though he surrendered at last, he mounts a final campaign in Joseph A. Insinga, Docket No. 4609-12 W, filed 12/31/13, Judge Gustafson’s farewell to Fighting Joe.

The unnamed skulldugger, upon whose trail Fighting Joe was fiercely treading, now moves for a permanent seal on identifying information. And gets it, Judge Gustafson retroactively applying Rule 345(b).

Rule 345 itself came into effect 7/6/12. Joe’s filing took place before that date, so Joe isn’t anonymous. But Fighting Joe wants the information in public view.

Of course, IRS “… does not object to the redaction of names, addresses, and other identifying information of the taxpayer(s) to whom the claim relates from the documents in the record of this case or the sealing of some documents in the record in this case.” Order, at p. 1. Surprise, surprise.

Fighting Joe claims the movant (anonymous, of course) filed late, and that the information isn’t proprietary or confidential.

Now that don’t make Judge Gustafson no never-mind. “Section 7461(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (‘I.R.C.’; 26 U.S.C.) provides that all reports of the Tax Court and all evidence received by the Tax Court shall be public records open to the inspection of the public. At the same time, I.R.C. section 6103 provides that returns and return information are confidential and are not subject to disclosure, except in limited circumstances. Because the taxpayer to whom the claim relates is not a party to this proceeding, the third party taxpayer has no control over what information has been included in the public record of this case. For this reason, Rule 345 was adopted to require that the parties shall redact the nonparty taxpayer’s name, address, and other identifying information and that redacted information will be sealed in a reference list. See Rule 345(b).

“Although Rule 345(b) was adopted after most documents containing the information regarding the third party were filed in this case, the Court will grant the Motion for Protective Order and seal the documents identified in the Supplement to Motion for Protective Order.” Order, at p. 2.

Oh yes, and Clerk, send a copy of this order over to K Street.

Further comment is superfluous.

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