In Uncategorized on 11/09/2016 at 17:24

Judge Lauber has a good one today in Whistleblower 26876-15W, 147 T. C. 12, filed 11/9/16. The blower claims no jurisdiction and wants his petition tossed.

Blower put in a claim, but the audit crew gave a “no change” to the blown, so no proceeds, no award.

The Form 11369 bouncing the blower was prepared by a senior tax analyst, who signed the letter telling blower he (masculine pronoun used without designating actual gender of blower, as Judge Lauber is at pains to point out) was out of luck. The Form 11369 was also signed by Mr Chief Whistler.

The letter went to the (admittedly) wrong address.

Now while Section 7623 mandates no specific form of claim rejection, or even that it be written or communicated to the blower, Tax Court has held that the rejection must be written and sent to blower’s last known address.

Of course, there’s the battle of the letters (see my blogpost “Contra Proferentem,” 10/2/14), and the Comparinis’ epistolary duel with the Ogden Sunseteers is retold.

But the petition came during the thirty-day window after Letter No. Two, which went to the right address.

Oh, the Boss Hoss Rule? Well, the denial letter that got to the blower was signed by the senior tax analyst aforesaid. And blower says the analyst’s not covered by Delegation Order 25-7 (Rev. 1), Internal Revenue Manual pt. and (3) (July 1, 2008). So the second letter is also a dud.

Judge Lauber is unimpressed: “We find no merit in this argument.  Delegation Order 25-7 delegated to Mr. [Chief Whistler] the authority to approve or disapprove awards under section 7623.  Mr. [Chief Whistler] exercised that authority…when he signed the Form 11369 adopting his staff’s recommendation that petitioner’s claim be disallowed in full because no ‘proceeds’ had been collected.  The following day, the Office sent petitioner a final determination letter informing him of this decision.  There is nothing in Delegation Order 25-7 (or anywhere else) that required this letter to be signed by Mr. [Chief Whistler] personally rather than by a member of his staff.” 147 T. C. 12, at p. 7.

So there’s jurisdiction. And you know this isn’t going to end well for the blower.


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