In Uncategorized on 07/14/2017 at 16:16

In this my blog, I sometimes come down hard on Judges. I maintain I do so only when I see manifest injustice; I’m like a fan howling at the official for blowing a call (and I’ve done that too; my nearest and dearest have often cringed when I bellow “Enjoying the game, ump? You should watch it!”).

Today, though, I want to commend Ch J L Paige (“Iron Fist”) Marvel, who puts a petitioner wise when IRS tries the spider-and-fly routine.

Here’s the story of Caleb Tang, 13367-17, filed 7/14/17.

Cal petitioned a SNOD, but the petition was unsigned and he didn’t send in the sixty bucks. Ch J Iron Fist told Cal to file a proper petition and pay up. Here’s what followed.

“… petitioner filed a Letter…stating therein that he has filed an amended tax return for [year at issue] with the IRS and wishes to have this case dismissed. In support of petitioner’s request, he states: ‘I contacted IRS and was informed that they will not be able to review my case unless the US Tax Court approves the withdrawal of the petition * * * and dismiss[es] the case’.” Order, at p. 1.

Nice, huh? If Cal drops the petition by not paying and amending, his 90 day window to petition the SNOD has gone. So IRS can tell Cal to take a hike, and he can either pay and sue in USDC or USCFC, or pay. A CDP won’t help because he had a chance to contest, and didn’t.

Ch J Iron Fist is wise to this game, and she throws Cal a lifeline.

“Because the petition was not properly executed and the Court’s filing fee has not been paid, this case could be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. However, petitioner is advised that, if this case is dismissed, he may be unable to file another case with this Court with respect to [year at issue]. Accordingly, we will provide petitioner the opportunity to file a Ratification of Petition and pay the Court’s filing fee.” Order, at p. 1.

I’m sure if Cal does file and pay (and Ch J Iron Fist sends along the ratification form), IRS counsel will be happy to review Cal’s papers as part of the Branerton swap meet. And even maybe talk about the case. At worst, if they can’t agree, Cal gets a chance to tell his story in Court.

And Ch J Iron Fist’s second chance language should get into every order when a pro se asks to drop the case to talk to IRS. This “drop the case and we’ll talk” stuff should be retitled “come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.”

Good call, Ch Judge.

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