In Uncategorized on 01/04/2016 at 14:38

Sir Wm Schwenck Gilbert’s sober lyrics from his most sober opera echo in Steven Merriman, Deceased and Marlea Ashford-Merriman, Docket No. 28282-15S, filed 1/4/16, as Tax Year 2016 opens on an equally somber note.

But Sir A Sullivan’s music and Gilbert’s words suit many a self-represented, who, lacking technical knowledge or experience (or the means to employ one who has those), must deal simultaneously with personal calamity and the labyrinthian maze of Tax Court practice.

Post-petition, Marlea sends in what she calls a motion for “Tax Forgiveness for Marlea Ashford-Merriman, Widowed Spouse of Taxpayer Steven William Merriman.” Order, at p. 1.

Ch J Michael B (“Iron Mike”) Thornton, who has probably heard as many hard-luck stories as anyone not ordained clergy, is brief but cold.

“Petitioner’s document is improper, and the Court will strike it from the record in this case.” Order, at p. 1.

But Ch J Iron Mike has a suggestion for Marlea. “Petitioner might possibly wish to discuss the issues and/or evidence concerning this case with the Internal Revenue Service’s counsel.” Order, at p. 1.

Of course, IRS not yet having answered Marlea’s petition, she can wait until the answer arrives and the identity of counsel is revealed. While Marlea waits, the Tax Court Rules and general information are available for her perusal on the Tax Court website.

However, given the fact that many attorneys come seriously unglued in Tax Court (and I’ve chronicled several such), one might question the value of the foregoing aids to someone (a) not a USTCP, (b) not an attorney admitted to practice in Tax Court with substantial experience, and (c) presumably in some emotional distress.

So why not suggest that Marlea check out a local LITC, if such is available in her locality?

PS for any Savoyards who stumble upon this blogpost: I take no position on Jack Point’s status at the close of Act II. The Internal Revenue Code and the Tax Court Rules of Practice present sufficient complications for me.


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