Attorney-at-Law

OH, THOSE LETTERS!

In Uncategorized on 10/06/2014 at 17:41

Once again the Ogden Sunseteers engage in the epistolary barrage that brought them to grief in Thomas M. Comparini and Vicki Comparini, 143 T. C. 14, filed 10/2/14; for more about the Incomparable Comparinis, see my blogpost “Contra Proferentem”, 10/2/14.

This time it’s a short-and-sweet 143 T. C. 15, filed 10/6/14, a unanimous nine-pager from Judge Colvin, possibly a record for brevity. It’s Mica Ringo, whistleblower.

Mica got a turn-down from the Ogden Sunseteers that read as follows: “We have considered your application for an award dated …. Under Internal Revenue Code Section 7623, an award may be paid only if the information provided results in the collection of additional tax, penalties, interest or other proceeds. In this case, the information you provided did not result in the collection of any proceeds. Therefore, you are not eligible for an award.” 143 T. C. 15, at p. 3.

Sounds like a determination, no? Well, it did to Judge Colvin and the 400 Second Street, NW gang. And it certainly did to Mica, who banged in a timely petition.

But the Ogden Sunseteers repented at leisure. Seven months after they turned down Mica, and six months after Mica’s timely petition, the Ogden Sunseteers hit Mica with the following: “The L-1010 letter… was sent to you in error. We are still considering your application for award F-211. We are sorry for this inconvenience.” 143 T. C. 15, at p. 4.

OK, so where does that leave Mica’s petition?

The Ogden Sunseteers and Mica agree: forget the petition, no jurisdiction, let the Sunseteers deal with Mica’s F-211 whenever. So IRS moves to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, and Mica doesn’t object.

No, say Judge Colvin and the 400 Second Street gang, we object. “Respondent contends that the Court lacks jurisdiction in this case, and petitioner does not object to respondent’s assertion. However, our jurisdiction is not expanded or contracted by the positions of the parties. Thus, it is not dispositive that both parties claim that we lack jurisdiction.” 143 T. C. 15, at p. 5.

Judge Colvin will decide that his own self. And he does.

A Court gets jurisdiction based on the facts when its jurisdiction is first invoked. It retains jurisdiction until decision or other judicial determination.

And a whistleblower determination is no different than a SNOD, when it comes to Tax Court jurisdiction. “Thus, even if a determination in a notice of deficiency is erroneous or the Commissioner concedes the determination in full, the notice is generally not rendered void but continues to provide a basis for our jurisdiction.” 143 T. C. 15, at p. 8. (Citations omitted).

Moreover, a NOD is treated just the same. “Similarly, the Court does not lose jurisdiction when the Commissioner wishes to revoke or issues in error a notice of determination in a collection case.” 143 T. C. 15, at p, 8. (Citations omitted).

So motion to dismiss denied. There sure was a determination and a timely petition.

So now what? A motion to enter decision, stating that there’s no decision?

 

 

 

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