In Uncategorized on 10/31/2017 at 16:28

Thus spake Judge Laro in Carlos Alamo, 2017 T. C. Memo. 215, filed 10/31/17.  Carlos claimed IRS never sent him a SNOD, so the alleged deficiency was fatally flawed.

“Notwithstanding respondent’s disorganized recordkeeping as to the tax account for petitioner for [year at issue], we find that respondent has carried his burden of proving that he mailed a deficiency notice to petitioner.” 2017 T. C. Memo. 215, at p. 24. You can read the facts and conjectures for yourselves. IRS didn’t cover itself with glory on that score.

But Carlos was a trifle casual with what mail he picked up and what he didn’t.

Carlos petitioned from a NOD on a NFTL, although there had be a NITL (which Judge Laro calls FNIL; we really need uniformity here), which Carlos didn’t contest because the certified letter was returned uinclaimed.

When Carlos first went to Appeals on the NFTL, although Appeals turned down Carlos on his contest of liability based on nonmailing of the SNOD, when Carlos petitioned the NOD, IRS moved to remand, to give Carlos a chance to put in evidence of what he owed, if anything.

Carlos stuck to the “you never mailed a SNOD” story, and put in nothing else.

“We have already determined that respondent did mail a notice of deficiency to petitioner.  But it is also true that because petitioner did not receive the notice, he was entitled to raise the issue of the underlying liability at his CDP hearing. See sec. 6330(c)(2)(B).  Petitioner errs, however, by contending that he was not required to provide a completed [year at issue] income tax return or any other documentation to the IRS Office of Appeals to contest his income tax liability.” 2017 T. C. Memo. 215, at p. 29.

In short, you get a chance to tell your story if you didn’t get a SNOD. But you have to tell your story.

“A taxpayer may not claim to challenge the underlying tax liability in a CDP hearing and then refuse to cooperate with the Office of Appeals in attempting to establish that liability.  In previous cases, we have found against taxpayers where they stated that they were challenging the underlying tax liability in a CDP hearing but failed to provide to the Office of Appeals any evidence on that issue.  See, e.g., Snodgrass v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2016-235; Stevenson v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2013-284.  In short, intransigence has no reward.” 2017 T. C. Memo. 215, at pp. 31-32.

Note that IRS knew they blew it at Appeals the first time around, so they sought (and got) remand. They used that opportunity to build a fortress of a record.

Practitioner, when IRS seeks remand to Appeals, they’re looking for a chance to remediate a sketchy record. And you should be looking for a chance to strengthen yours.


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