In Uncategorized on 12/26/2016 at 14:55

Tax Court is shuttered today. According to a fictional colleague of my youth, everyone has been born again on a Monday, so neither opinion nor order issues forth to give me an excuse to blog.

So I go back to a troubling pair of blogposts that interrupted my somnolent holiday and drove me to the keyboard electric. Compare and contrast “Robosigner?” 12/23/16, with “Money-Back Guarantee meets The Boss Hoss,” 11/30/16.

If it turns out that Judge Gustafson has discovered that the famous Section 6751(b)(1) sign-off by “immediate supervisor” is actually done by some “Reviewer,” who may or may not be the “immediate supervisor” of the initial determinator, and moreover may be “personally approving” such determination by a robosignature, like papers in a phony subprime mortgage foreclosure, what price ex-Ch J Michael B. (“Iron Mike”) Thornton’s psycholinguistic hopscotch in the second of my blogposts aforementioned?

I went back to an old favorite Christmas story by O. Henry, wherein his antihero tramp berates a fellow roadster thus: “Chewin’ de stuffin’ out ‘n de dictionary, as usual, Boston.”

The answer isn’t in the dictionary, nor in The Oxford English Grammar.

Either Congress meant that someone, who has oversight responsibility for the IRS employee who chooses to impose a penalty, exercises, and documents the exercise of,  that responsibility before the taxpayer first gets hit with the chop, or they meant something unintelligible from the plain words (without philological gloss) that appear on the page.

As best I, a mere old-time, beaten-up, beaten-down, single-shingle dirt lawyer “of limited experience and mediocre qualifications” can discern, Congress proposed that IRS stop using penalties to bully taxpayers.

And the way to do it, said Congress, is to require a second look before dropping the bomb. And that’s a documented second look by a specific individual senior to the would-be bomber.

If the second look needn’t be given or documented until after a Tax Court litigation, wherein the taxpayer may have paid or incurred monumental legal fees, costs and disbursements, finally to be justified; or worse, where the taxpayer is unjustly mulcted but cannot afford even the “reasonable rates” of Eric William Johnson, Esq., what exactly is the point of the statute?

Moreover, if the famous “second look” can be accomplished by a robosigner with an illegible signature many years after said initial determination, the statute becomes positively farcical.

If ever an opinion needed reargument, it’s 147 T. C. 16.

  1. Great post. Thank you!


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