In Uncategorized on 12/21/2015 at 11:43

When Children Play With Matters of Importance

I am obliged to a Director in a Big Four accounting firm for bringing to my attention a series of delightful conjectures from no less than the University of Chicago Law School, alma mater of Judge Mark V. Holmes.

Assistant professor Daniel Hemel speculates on a legislative shoe-drop embedded at page 231 of the 233-page tax bill, a/k/a Revenue Act of 2015. Here’s the text: “Clarification Relating to United States Tax Court,” amends the Internal Revenue Code to add the following language: “The Tax Court is not an agency of, and shall be independent of, the executive branch of the Government.”

Great. This coruscation from the desk of Sen. Hatch (R-UT) is intended to assure the public (or so much thereof as pays taxes) that the Tax Court is in fact independent.

Apparently what got Sen. Hatch’s UnderArmours in a running bowline was the Court of Appeals’ decision in Kuretski v. Com’r, 755 F.3d. 929 (DC Cir., 2014). That affirmed Judge Wherry’s reconsideration of the Tax Court decision, which I blogged in my blogpost “Not Even a ‘Good Try’,” 3/5/13.

But I have to give credit to The Gang From Hackensack. They made IRS and DC Circuit throw pitches, even though they were called out on strikes at the close of play.

So what is Tax Court, Sen. Hatch?

Well, Prof. Hemel has some possibilities in his blogpost “Tinkering With the Tax Court,” 12/18/15. And I’m sure my inventive readers can come up with some variations on this theme.

For myself, I will let others try to unscramble this ill-made omelet. I eschew political comment…at least in this venue.

But if Mark Twain was right, that no one’s life, liberty or property is safe while the Legislature is in session, that goes double for Tax Court.


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