Attorney-at-Law

BORN AGAIN

In Uncategorized on 08/16/2017 at 16:36

No, this has not become a religious blog. But the story of Wilfred Omoloh, 2017 T. C. Sum. Op. 64, filed 8/16/17 shows that being born again is not only a religious experience.

Here’s Wilf’s story, as told by CSTIJIW (Chief Special Trial Judge in Waiting) Lewis (“A Name Known to Fame”) Carluzzo.

“According to a birth certificate secured by petitioner apparently with much difficulty and issued more than 55 years after the event it records, petitioner was born on October 1, 1950.  According to various other records generated in response to information that he apparently provided, petitioner was born on October 1, 1952.  More often than not, people would like to be younger.  Here, at least as far as petitioner’s 2010 Federal income tax liability is concerned, it would be to his advantage to be as old as the above-referenced birth certificate shows him to be.

“This is so because after concessions, one of the issues that we must decide is whether certain distributions from qualified retirement accounts (IRAs) are subject to the section 72(t) additional tax.  If petitioner is as old as the birth certificate suggests, then he is not liable for the additional tax If he was born on a date shown in various other documents, then he was not yet 59-1/2 years old as of the dates of the distributions and he is liable for the section 72(t) tax as respondent determined.” 2017 T. C. Sum. Op. 64, at pp. 2-3. (Footnote omitted, but it says Wilf changed his birthdate after giving another birthdate at previous Tax Court proceedings.).

So the issue is the 10% addition, as the 20% underpayment chop is uncontested.

OK, Wilf has the burden of proof. And, as CSTJIW Lew notes, “According to Helen Hayes, ‘age is not important unless you’re a cheese.’ Maybe so, but petitioner’s age (and the age of his former spouse) as of the dates the distributions were made pretty much determines the issues remaining in dispute.” 2017 T. C. Sum. Op. 64, at p. 3.

Well, Wilf has that recently-issued Kenyan birth certificate showing the winning date.

But IRS is dubious (to put it politely), and CSTJIW Lew shares their doubt.

“Respondent agrees that petitioner’s recently acquired birth certificate is authentic but questions its accuracy.  We share respondent’s concerns with the accuracy of the information shown on the birth certificate, information petitioner apparently provided to the issuing Kenyan agency during the pendency of this case.  After consideration of all of the evidence regard petitioner’s age, we are reluctant to make any finding regarding the date of birth of petitioner or his former spouse. That being so, petitioner has failed to establish that respondent’s imposition of the additional tax in the notice is erroneous.” 2017 T. C. Sum. Op. 64, at p. 7. (Footnote omitted, but it says that there’s no evidence of the age of ex-Mrs. Wilf, who was on the MFJ return for the year at issue).

Besides, IRS has a full-page list of documents going back 35 years, on all of which Wilf gives his birthdate as 1952, not 1950.

So IRS and CSTJIW Lew ask the same question posed to a much more exalted personage: “How can someone be born when they are old?”

 

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