In Uncategorized on 10/07/2016 at 15:24

But Doesn’t Avoid a Bawling-Out

That Obliging Jurist, Judge David Gustafson, enters his decision (that’s a judgment for you State-courtiers) in Jeffrey A. Wolf, Docket No. 13980-13L, today, but I want to discuss the opinion he filed yesterday.

It was an off-the-bencher, same docket number. Jeff had run up a bunch of unpaid and unfiled years, plus additions for nonfiling and nonpayment in respect thereof. He filed, IRS assessed, Jeff wanted an IA and IRS sent him a NITL.

“Mr. Wolf’s father died in March 2006. Mr. Wolf contends, and the IRS concedes, that the resulting emotional devastation impeded his ability to timely file his returns and pay his taxes for 2006 and 2007; but that sorrowful event does not explain the earlier and later years.” Order, at p. 4.

Jeff also went down in Our Fair State for tax evasion for some of those years, but Judge Gustafson didn’t go there.

“The Commissioner evoked testimony at trial about this conviction, apparently to explain the decisions and conduct of IRS collection personal before the CDP request and hearing; but since we review only the action of the Office of Appeals in the CDP process, and since Appeals’ determination that we review here makes no mention of the State tax issues, we need not discuss this criminal issue in more detail.” Order, at p. 5.

The SO told Jeff to realize the equity he had in a lot of real estate to get the IA he wanted. And the IRM says so. Jeff still wants the IA, claiming he can’t sell his real estate so fast.

Judge Gustafson administers the bawling-out: “Mr. Wolf’s development of his substantial portfolio was improperly enhanced or facilitated by his non-payment of millions of dollars of Federal income tax liability over seven years. The IRS may well reckon that a taxpayer should not be permitted to default on his tax obligations, tie up in investments the money that should have paid his taxes, and then be entitled to forbearance in collection because the investments are not liquid. We sustain Appeals’ determination to deny the IA.” Order, at p. 18.

Now the IRS transcript here shows an assessment correcting a math error. Did the SO properly consult only the transcript to verify that all the right steps were taken in confirming the NITL? Should the SO maybe have done the numbers herself?

Judge Gustafson has a practice tip: “An argument not advanced by Mr. Wolf is the question of verification under section 6330(c) (3) (A), which in the CDP hearing is an obligation of IRS Appeals without regard to the taxpayer’s raising it. Perhaps in the right case one could contend that Appeals’ consultation of transcripts, without more, constitutes a failure to obtain adequate verification that the requirements of any applicable law and administrative procedure were met, for purposes of section 6330(c) (3) (A), in the case of an assessment arising from the correction of a math error. However, ‘the taxpayer must adequately raise the verification issue in his petition in order for this Court to consider it.’” Order, at pp. 19-20. (Citations omitted).

While I’ve said before that lawyers can’t add, it might be well to get out that dust-covered adding machine that prints out a tape when you scope out the assessment.


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