In Uncategorized on 02/09/2017 at 17:12

I cannot stress often enough that a Power of Attorney, Form 2848, is a piece of paper whereby a taxpayer appoints an Agent to represent him/her/it/them before IRS.

But today The Judge with a Heart, STJ Armen, finds the “POA” might as well have been a piece of paper, in a designated hitter Charles E. Patrick, Docket 5259-16L, filed 2/9/17.

Although Charles was represented by counsel, when STJ Armen ordered him to respond to IRS’ motion for summary J sustaining the NOD that bounced Charles’ CDP, “…the Court attached to its… Order a copy of Q&As that the Court has prepared on the subject ‘What is a motion for summary judgment? How should I respond to one?’. Order, at p. 1.

Makes me wonder. I’d never suspect STJ Armen of being gratuitous, but doing that strikes me as belittling Charles’ lawyer. We all learned in Civil Procedure 101 to “marshal your evidence and lay bare your proofs, mere denials are worthless without corroborating facts, eschew conclusory affidavits by those without personal knowledge of the facts” and all that good stuff.

Maybe STJ Armen was right, because neither Charles nor his counsel responded.

Anyway, the HO’s declaration says the “POA” admitted at the CDP Charles got the SNOD, didn’t petition, but wanted to fight the underlying liability. The HO told him he couldn’t, but could try audit reconsideration (from which, of course, you can’t petition Tax Court).

Summary J for IRS.

Now maybe this all came about because the amount in dispute was $4K, so neither Charles nor counsel figured it was worth the trouble. But that’s sheer speculation on my part.

I remember Ch J L. Paige (“Iron Fist”) Marvel’s admonition to us at the last USTC Judicial Conference (and BTW, Ch J IF, when is the next one?) to “add a zero.” What might be small money to one person is blood money to another.

But it’s a warning to lawyers. Tax Court isn’t small claims court or village court or justice court. It has its statutes and its rules, and these are not to be ignored, however big-hearted the judge may be.

And please stop calling a person a piece of paper. Unless the person truly is a piece of paper.

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