In Uncategorized on 02/17/2017 at 16:03

Sandy Freund, Esq., top gun from Rutgers Law School Federal Tax Clinic, like the Lennon-McCartney 1965 titlist, gets a ticket to ride to Tax Court even though her client was too late with his petition from the SNOD, and too late with his Form 12153 in response to the NFTL that followed.

It’s Estate of Daniel J. Sager, Deceased, Steven Sager, Executor, Docket No. 3057-16L, filed 2/17/17, a designated hitter from that modest jurist, CSTJ Panuthos, still hiding his light under the cliché and signing as STJ tout court.

And the Rutgers clinicians aren’t in it only for the small-claimers, because here the amounts at issue were in six figures before IRS conceded the interest down to $30K after Ex’r Steve ponied up the tax.

Appeals gave Ex’r Steve an equivalency hearing, the one-year consolation prize for the dilatory, and bounces his pleas thereat, issuing a determination letter and not a NOD. Steve’s petition falls on deaf statutes as CSTJ Panuthos explains.

“Mr. Sager requests that the decision letter be treated as a determination letter for purposes of conferring jurisdiction under section 6320 and section 6330. Mr. Sager concedes that he cannot cite existing precedent for this unique set of facts (where the lien notice was not sent to the last known address, where the request for the CDP hearing was not timely, and where the lien has already been discharged). Thus, he has not met the burden of proving that we have jurisdiction under section 6320 or section 6330. See Fehrs v. Commissioner, 65 T.C. 346, 348 (1975); Wheeler’s Peachtree Pharmacy, Inc. v. Commissioner, 35 T.C.177, 180 (1960).” Order, at p. 5, footnote 6.

So Ex’r Steve is out?

Negatory, good buddy, as they say on the Left Bank of the Lordly Hudson, not while Sandy is on the case. She also asked for abatement of interest. And IRS concedes she may have a chance to duke that one out.

“In a case involving an abatement of interest request under section 6404(e), under the law in effect at the time the petition in this case was filed, the Court has jurisdiction if the petition is filed ‘at any time the earlier of’ (1) the date the Secretary mails a final determination not to abate interest or (2) 180 days after the taxpayer files a claim for abatement of interest with the Secretary. Secs. 6040(h)(1)(A)(i) and (ii). The petition cannot be filed later than 180 days after the Secretary mails the final determination not to abate interest. E subpara. (B). The Court has jurisdiction to determine overpayments pursuant to section 6404(h). See Goettee v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2003-43, 2003 WL 464862, at *19.” Order, at p. 6. (Footnote omitted.)

The determination letter bouncing Ex’r Steve’s equivalency hearing said he couldn’t have interest abated, and that was final enough; IRS never claimed it wasn’t. A statement denying abatement is as much a ticket to Tax Court as a SNOD or NOD.

And this time the petition is timely. So Sandy can duke it out with IRS about dropping the remaining interest.

Good job for Sandy and her student attorney Charlie Rioux.


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