In Uncategorized on 07/14/2016 at 14:09

I’ve often lauded Judge David Gustafson as the epitome of The Obliging Jurist. See my blogpost “I’ll Help You Try Your Case,” 12/15/15, wherein I said: “I’ve told how he’ll visit you in the Stony Lonesome to hear your case, if need be. He designates his orders, making light the task of the hard-laboring blogger racing a deadline. He does everything but bring coffee and Krispy Kremes to calendar call, to help out hapless petitioners. As I said before, ‘He’ll tell you what you meant to allege, but didn’t, and let the other parties know as well.’ And he’ll let petitioners know that ex parte communications with the Court don’t cut it.”

And STJ Lewis (“Oh The Grandeur of that Name!”) Carluzzo’s obliging nature is well-known to my longer-suffering readers. See my blogpost “Tax Court As Preparer?”, 9/17/12.

Judge Gustafson’s helpful nature spread to other Judges. See my blogpost “Obliging May Be Contagious,” 4/7/16, where it looked like even then-Ch. J Michael B (“Iron Mike”) Thornton had caught the Gustafson obliging bug.

Well, I’m happy to report that the good spirit has reached even Ch. J L. Paige (“Iron Fist”) Marvel.

Here’s Ch. J. Iron Fist aiding Timothy J. McLaughlin & Tamara L. McLaughlin, Docket No. 27750-15, filed 7/14/16.

Tim and Tam were told to amend their petition, but sent a letter to Ch. J Iron Fist that bespoke confusion with Tax Court and conflation with IRS.

So in addition to attaching a second Form 2 to her order (apparently the first one sent to Tim and Tam back in June elicited the confusion and conflation elsewhere hereinabove referred to, as my high-priced colleagues would say), Ch. J Iron Fist shows the gentler side of her formidable persona.

“Please note that this Court is not part of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and has no information about petitioners’ case except the information which is provided by petitioners. (For this reason, the Court also has no information regarding account balances and payments, which are matters handled by the IRS, not the Court.) It is therefore suggested that petitioners attempt to fully complete each blank of the Amended Petition.” Order, at p. 1.

A good first mile, we’ll all of us agree, but Ch. J Iron Fist goes the twain.

“In paragraph 1, check the appropriate box for the type of IRS notice petitioners are disputing, which here would appear to be the notice of deficiency that comprises the earlier imperfect/incomplete petition. In paragraph 2, set forth the date of the notice from the IRS, as well as the city and State of the issuing IRS office. In paragraph 3, give the tax year for which the notice was issued. In paragraph 4, check the box for type of case procedures petitioners wish to have used for the case, either small tax case procedures or regular tax case procedures. (General information concerning deciding whether to elect regular or small case procedures is posted under the ‘Starting A Case’ tab in the Taxpayer Information section of the Court’s website at In paragraph 5, state the reasons why petitioners disagree with the IRS notice, and in paragraph 6, give the facts which support petitioners’ position. Be sure to sign and date the Amended Petition on the second page, with original signatures (preferably in blue ink) by both petitioners. Completion of the additional short forms (T.C. Forms 4 and 5)… in the petition packet would likewise assist the Court in processing the case.” Order, at pp. 1-2.

Short of filling out the Form 2 her own self, handing Tim and Tam a blue inkpen and pointing to the signature line while addressing and stamping the envelope directed to 400 Second Street, NW,  what more could Ch J Iron Fist do?


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