Attorney-at-Law

BACK TO SCHOOL

In Uncategorized on 10/04/2016 at 16:50

No, this is not about yellow buses and bulging backpacks. Judge Wells has a lesson for The American College of Tax Counsel (to which august body I do not belong), as they try to file amicus in John Finnegan & Joan Finnegan, Docket No. 8637-13, filed 10/4/16.

You remember John & Joan, of course. No? Then check out my blogposts “SOL On SOL? – Part Deux,” 7/24/16, and “The Fraudster’s Toolbox,” 6/17/16. Now that you’re off the “on” ramp and accelerating, John & Joan want Rule 161 reconsideration, and the American Collegiates are trying to get in to help.

But it’s a nonstarter.

John & Joan, and I presume the Collegiates, claim that BASR P’ship was a change in law that triggered a different result. Except IRS raised it first on post-trial brief and distinguished it, and John & Joan never appealed the decision. Moreover, John & Joan could have argued that the law was wrong, and made a good faith argument based on the USCFC case, which CCAFC affirmed. Except they didn’t.

And CCAFC wasn’t unanimous in its holding, with a concurrence and one affirmance, and a dissent, in a three-judge panel.  Besides, John & Joan aren’t Golsenized to CCAFC, so that decision doesn’t bind Tax Court anyhow, as the appeal was taken from USCFC.

In short, if the preparer committed fraud, the taxpayer is stuck.

Takeaway—Taxpayer, choose your preparer and trial counsel carefully.

Footnote- For more hints from the fraudster’s toolbox, see 2016 T. C. Memo. 185, filed 10/4/16, as Dr. Ramon Reynoso shows how to do it. But don’t try this at home (or anywhere else).

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