In Uncategorized on 07/30/2014 at 17:38

A classic case of deer-in-the-headlights gives me my blogpost for today. The one T. C. Memo. for 7/30/14, is a reiteration of the old story–for an OIC you must file a Form 656 and follow the Regs to the letter. There’s not a lot of new learning here, so I’m not blogging it.

And the one order I am blogging is really a warning to those who will not read it–the self-represented. Ch J Michael B. (“Iron Mike”) Thornton may have thought he was doing Deborah Loftsgard, Docket No. 15923-14, filed 7/30/14, a favor by saving her $60. Of course Debs is pro se.

I submit that he was assisting her (most likely unwittingly) to deprive herself of prepayment judicial review.

The facts are so simple. And for once I’m including the dates, because they really matter.

“On July 8, 2014, the Court received from petitioner a letter which referenced a notice of determination dated June 6, 2014, issued to petitioner with respect to the 2001 taxable year. To protect petitioner’s statutory time period within which to begin a case, the Court filed that letter as a petition to commence this case at docket No. 15923-14. On July 15, 2014, the Court issued an Order directing payment of the filing fee for this matter on or before August 29, 2014. On July 28, 2014, the Court received from petitioner a letter indicating that petitioner did not intend through her initial correspondence with this Court to commence a case herein. Rather, petitioner is seeking information regarding the basis for the determination made by Internal Revenue Service (IRS).” Order, at p. 1.

Debs, if you want to find out the basis for what IRS did, send IRS a Branerton letter. If you don’t know what that is, read my blog or Google Branerton v. Com’r.

But do it after you pay the $60 bucks and move to vacate this Order. If ordered to amend your petition, just state you disagree with whatever IRS did, need informal discovery and have sent a Branerton letter. Tax Court loves Branerton letters.

Even if IRS wants to fight, talk to their attorney and suggest you can settle if you can talk.

But what happens here sinks Debs.

Ch J Iron Mike: “Petitioner is advised that the IRS and the Commissioner are separate from this Court and that petitioner would need to contact the IRS directly for such inquiries as to IRS activities and determinations. Accordingly, it appearing that petitioner does not intend to pay the filing fee as directed in the Court’s Order dated July 15, 2014, it is

“ORDERED that, on the Court’s own motion, this case is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.” Order, at p. 1.

Debs, if this was a NOD and not a SNOD, you just lost any chance of Tax Court review, whatever IRS tells you or doesn’t tell you. And whatever IRS tells you or doesn’t tell you, if you want to fight you have to pay in full and sue in District Court or Federal Claims. And best of luck with that.

If what you got was a SNOD, you might have time to petition again, but whether SNOD or NOD, it’s simpler to ask for a Rule 162 motion to vacate.

Just mail in a $60 check with your letter, and say you were unaware you were giving up your right to Tax Court review, and you want your petition to stand. But do it now. You only have 30 days.

With so many self-representeds, winning is easy for IRS.

Edited to Add: Of course, the foregoing should not be construed, and may not be used, as (a) legal advice, or (b) to abate in whole or in part any interest or penalties for, related to, or in connection with any tax or imposition by any governmental authority having or asserting jurisdiction, or (c) solicitation of retention or employment, or for the furnishing of legal or non-legal services, or (d) to create a client-attorney relationship or privilege.

All recipients hereof are advised that a qualified common interest privilege is asserted, both as to the substance of this communication or any claims in connection herewith or in consequence hereof.


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