In Uncategorized on 12/27/2016 at 14:01

OK, the halls were decked, the wassail has sailed away, and I’m back at the same old stand on Lower Broadway here on this US Minor Outlying Island.

I wish I had something novel, but Ch J L Paige (“Iron Fist”) Marvel insists upon admitting CPAs to practice in Tax Court (with or without POAs, which are of course worthless in Tax Court), notwithstanding the explcit provisions of Rule 24(a)(4).

“No entry of appearance by counsel not admitted to practice before this Court will be effective until counsel shall have been admitted, but counsel may be recognized as counsel in a pending case to the extent permitted by the Court and then only where it appears that counsel can and will be promptly admitted.”

We all know that fiduciaries of various kinds (personal representatives, trustees, ex’rs and administrators), next friends, corporate officers, partners and LLC managers (tax matterers until next week, and tax representatives after that) may appear, if either named in the document conferring jurisdiction on Tax Court or obtaining Tax Court approval if not so named.

But Ch J Iron Fist keeps letting ‘em all in, even none of the above, with special preference for CPAs.

Here’s another one welcoming me back, Marta Torre De Morimoto & Masayoshi Morimoto, Docket No. 25494-16S, filed 12/27/16.

Mart & Masa got a “no change” from IRS after they dropped their pro se petition back on December 1. And Ch J Iron Fist quite properly told them to sign same or get “…a representative with proper authorization and capacity pursuant to the Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure” to do it.

As Grandma would have said “Nu? Va’ denn?”

So now, instead of doing what Ch J Iron Fist told them to do, but apparently at their direction, into the mail slot at 400 Second Street, NW falls “…a Letter Dated December 12, 2016 by Richard E. Evans on Behalf of Petitioners. That letter states that: (1) petitioners have received a ‘no change’ letter from the IRS with respect to their 2013 tax year and (2) petitioners wish to withdraw their petition. A copy of the ‘no change’ letter was attached to that document.” Order, at p. 1.

Of course you can’t withdraw a petition from a SNOD, small-claimer or no small-claimer, once Tax Court has jurisdiction, without decision for IRS for the full boat of the SNOD.

Now who, saving his reverence, might Richard E. Evans be? According to Tax Court’s docket inquiry link, Mart & Masa are still pro se, so perchance Richard E. Evans is a Tax Court admittee who’s a wee bit slow filing Form 7, or maybe one awaiting prompt admission.

But my inquiring mind found that a certain Richard E. Evans is a partner in one of the seventy (count ‘em, seventy) largest firms of Certified Public Accountants in our country, with offices in San Diego, CA, where Mart & Masa want to try their case.

Now it may be that there’s more than one Richard E. Evans in SD CA, so I apologize in advance if I’ve named the wrong person.

And the true Richard E. Evans may not be a CPA. But I’m prepared to wager a couple ales at Jake’s Saloon on 23rd Street (hi Judge Holmes, sorry I can’t buy you a drink; no Judges can take this bet) that Richard E. Evans is neither an admittee nor leading the field down to the wire.

So Ch J Iron Fist one again crushes the Rules of Practice and Procedure.

“…the Letter Dated December 12, 2016 by Richard E. Evans on Behalf of Petitioners is recharacterized as a Motion for Entry of Decision by Richard E. Evans on Behalf of Petitioners.” Order, at p. 1.

And Mart & Masa have five weeks to get with IRS’ counsel, put in decision documents, or file a status report.

I know this is a small-claimer, and we don’t play strict rules of golf, but there are some vestigial rules. I also know Judges want to clear the docket like a goalie down 5 to 3 on a powerplay wants to clear pucks, and like said goalie is willing to risk taking a delay-of-the-game by throwing the puck into the stands.

But if the Rules need changing, change them. Don’t tiptoe around them.

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