As background, see my blogpost “Slow Down, You Move Too Fast,” 9/24/13. The case of Tom Szekely, upon which I expatiated in the blogpost aforesaid, is the basis for Judge Buch bouncing IRS on summary J even when petitioner doesn’t respond to the motion.
The designated hitter is Yves Alexander Bergquist, Docket No. 20041-15L, filed 8/31/16.
But show up for trial, YA, the game isn’t over yet.
YA was trying for collection alternatives to an undisputed liability, but papers are going astray, there’s a mismatch in years under consideration, and the SO ignores the 4340 that says YA filed an extension when she claims that YA never filed.
And she gives YA three days to come up with an updated Form 433-A.
Even without YA on the field, it wasn’t going well for IRS.
“…Mr. Bergquist provided SO S a copy of the Form 4868 he filed for 2014. SO S rejected this document the same day Mr. Berquist submitted it and stated that ‘there was no valid extension to file’ in place. The question for SO S is not the quality of Mr. Berquist’s recordkeeping of his extension request or whether it is typewritten or handwritten. The question is whether there was an extension in place. SO S’s conclusion that no extension was in place is directly contradicted by the Commissioner’s own records.” Order, at p. 8. (Name omitted).
Judge Buch might have said “RYFF,” which means “Read Your File.” The “F” is for emphasis.
It gets worse for IRS.
“SO S made an initial request for an updated Form 433-A on June 16, 2015. Reviewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party, it wasn’t until ten days later, on June 26, 2015, that SO S explained the specific financial information she sought. She gave Mr. Bergquist only three days to submit it. Even if using the date of the initial request for an updated Form 433-A, SO S allowed only thirteen days to provide the financial information.” Order, at p. 8.
Judge Buch notes IRS’ manual. “The Commissioner’s own guidance instructs its employees to consider the circumstances of the taxpayer and the complexity and volume of information needed when setting deadlines to submit information. One such guideline states: ‘Allow at least 14 calendar days for a taxpayer to collect and provide information necessary for considering collection alternatives or issues of dispute.’ IRM pt. 184.108.40.206.1(2) (Nov. 8, 2013) (emphasis added).” Order, at p. 7.
So no summary J. Go to trial.
My takeaway- If Congress starves iRS of resources, it doesn’t hurt IRS. It hurts the taxpayers. This case should have been disposed of at Appeals.