In Uncategorized on 05/30/2017 at 16:08

STJ Daniel A. (“Yuda”) Guy is headquartered at 400 Second Street, NW, but IRS wants him to pretend he moved to the above-captioned address, headquarters of the VA, in Kent E. Keeter. 2017 T. C. Sum. Op.. 36, filed 5/30/17.

Kent joined the Army thirty-some years ago, and went to “boot camp” (that’s Basic Combat Training for you civilians). While going through that interesting experience, Kent got a head injury that gave him a two-to-three-month hospital stay, a seizure disorder, an honorable discharge, and a 100% disability rating from the Army.

Kent swears he spoke to the VA, who said he could apply for their benefits as well, but didn’t apply. This could have been a costly mistake, but for STJ Yuda. Although Kent settled out with IRS over certain years when he neither reported his disability payments nor paid tax thereon, IRS came after him for another year. Each year stands on its own, so the VA vs Dep’t of the Army joust is in play.

See my blogpost “Disabled Veteran,” 12/22/14, wherein STJ Yuda tells the story of the joust in more detail.

Kent never got the VASRD number, but got a college degree in computer science, and worked for years in that field. So how disabled was he?

STJ Yuda believed that Kent spoke to the VA.

“Petitioner directs us to his testimony that he understood after meeting with a VA representative at the time of his honorable discharge that he would qualify for benefits.  Respondent would have us examine the VA standard and apply it to petitioner with the hindsight of knowing that petitioner had a career in computers after he was honorably discharged.  We will decline respondent’s invitation to put ourselves in the shoes of the VA today and instead base our holding on the information petitioner had at the time which was that he would qualify for VA benefits.  We therefore hold that petitioner’s military disability retirement income…is excludible from his gross income.” 2017 T. C. Sum. Op. 36, at pp. 5-6 (Footnote omitted, but read it.)

In the omitted footnote, IRS tries to cite a Sum. Op. (which of course isn’t precedent), but there the petitioner had no evidence he ever went near the VA, although he was “sure” he could have gotten the magic number if he’d asked. That’s a no-go.

So while the VA can be found on Vermont Avenue, STJ Yuda isn’t going there.

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