Attorney-at-Law

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS – REDIVIVUS

In Uncategorized on 07/03/2017 at 12:39

Frances L. Rogers, 2017 T.C. Memo. 130, filed 7/3/17, is no stranger to this blog, although she now appears as lead player.

More properly, she is Frances L. Rogers, Esq., member of the Chicago Bar Association, sporting the following credentials: “In 1963 she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, and in 1965 she completed a master’s degree in biochemistry. In 1975 she completed a master’s degree in business administration (M.B.A.). In 1981 she earned a doctorate in educational administration. Petitioner attended law school, and in 1990 she completed her law degree. While attending law school she took classes in corporate and individual income tax. Petitioner has taken courses at her local community college. In 2011 and 2012 she completed multiple classes in tax and accounting, including income tax accounting, advance tax accounting, and principles of financial accounting.” 2017 T. C. Memo. 130, at pp. 2-3.

No, Frances isn’t putting out her c.v. to apply for a job as Trial Clerk in Tax Court. Rather, she is seeking Section 6015 innocent spousery from her trial counsel, spouse and well-credential master dodger John E. Rogers, whose career I and Judge Ruwe have pursued from Brazil to Seventh Circuit. There must be half-a-dozen of John’s peccadilloes that have featured in this my blog, and Frances was right by his side.

In fact, when John was ill back in 2009, Frances took over his law office and ran the whole show.

Now Judge Kerrigan has this one, and she has a lot more patience than I would have were I a Tax Court Judge (which Heaven forfend!).

This is a 90-day stand alone, which happens when there is no deficiency pending, collection has commenced, and ninety days has elapsed after the Form 8857 has gone in and IRS did nothing; they were probably still convulsed with mirth.

On the trial, Frances claims “…she did not meaningfully participate in the…deficiency case. She did not sign the court documents filed in the … deficiency case, and she testified that she had not looked at many of those documents. On her Form 8857 and in her testimony petitioner portrays herself as having a near complete lack of knowledge or sophistication with respect to business and financial matters. For example, she states that before 2009 she ‘was not capable of understanding a checking account or credit card statement’ and that she still ‘is unable to understand basic financial statements’.

“According to petitioner her husband ‘took care of everything’ regarding the family’s finances and made most or all financial decisions for her. She claims that she relied on him to handle tax and financial matters that affected the family, and she believed her reliance was appropriate given that he was a ‘tax professional * * * well respected by his colleagues and clients.’ Despite having an M.B.A. and a J.D. and having completed multiple courses in taxation petitioner contends that she has ‘no understanding’ of items and transactions reported on their joint returns, which were the subject of the … deficiency case. Petitioner testified that during the 2012 trial she ‘had no idea what was happening’. 2017 T. C. Memo. 130, at pp. 14-15.

I cannot comment on the foregoing without using language unfit for the chaste eyes of my readers, but the words “load of” and  “horse” play a role therein.

Judge Kerrigan, dainty as always: “Petitioner’s testimony about the extent of her ignorance is not credible.” 2017 T. C. Memo. 130, at p. 15.

She was independently wealthy before she married, ran her inherited real estate, ran her own real estate  brokerage, was associate principal of a high school with over 2,000 students, worked with her husband, never alleged abuse, was still married to him, and utterly failed to sustain her burden of proof.

If ever a case called for a Section 6673 chop to add to the family bill, this is the case.

 

 

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