Archive for January, 2018|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on 01/31/2018 at 18:56

Suzanne Jean McCrory, 2018 T. C. Memo. 12, filed 1/31/18, wants a remand to IRS (not Appeals). Suzanne is a whistleblower. IRS claims they started no proceedings and got no loot.

Suzanne is an ex-GAO auditor. Surmising that recipients of multi-million-dollar wrongful incarceration awards weren’t reporting same, she unloaded 18 or so Forms 211, after strip mining public info. She told IRS she was “operating on a hunch” and had no specifics, 2018 T. C. Memo. 12, at p. 3.

IRS blew it all off. Most of Suzanne’s claims were facially deficient, and IRS began no administrative action as to the rest.

Suzanne wants a do-over. IRS should reconsider whether to start administrative proceedings, and Judge Vasquez should tell them so.

“This Court has not yet decided whether it can appropriately order a remand in a whistleblower case. However, a remand is not appropriate in this case. While we believe petitioner’s concerns about the efficacy of third-party income reporting are sincere, we cannot grant her the relief she seeks. As we previously stated, section 7623(b)(4) does not contemplate that we review the IRS’ determinations of taxpayers’ liabilities or direct the IRS to commence an administrative or judicial proceeding. Granting petitioner’s remand motion would be akin to directing the IRS to commence an administrative proceeding against taxpayers it chose not to pursue.” 2018 T. C. Memo. 12, at pp. 8-9.

No remands,  however hard you whistle.








In Uncategorized on 01/30/2018 at 17:42

Post-event statements may save your deficiency, but won’t get you section 7430 admins and legals. David L. Bruner, 2018 T. C. Memo. 10, filed 1/30/18, has his 50% partner come in with an affidavit confirming the oral special allocation that got Dave a bigger split of the pension plan deduction in their LLC.

But when IRS audited the LLC, Dave handed over the operating agreement and five (count ‘em, five) amendments. None thereof spoke to the special allocations for the years at issue. It was only post-SNOD, post-petition and post-answer that Dave proffered the affidavit of his 50% partner, affirming Dave’ story that they had an oral agreement.

IRS bought it, but claimed the earned income limitation in Section 404(a)(8)(C), and bounced part of Dave’s specially allocated deduction for one year at issue.

Dave and IRS stiped out all the issues except admins and legals.

Now all readers of this my blog know very well that “substantially justified” means based on what was known to IRS at certain times in the proceedings.

Judge Lauber instructs: “For purposes of the administrative proceeding, the IRS’ position is that taken at the earlier of: (1) the date the taxpayer receives the determination of the IRS Appeals Office or (2) the date of the notice of deficiency.  Sec. 7430(c)(7)(B). For purposes of a Tax Court proceeding, the IRS’ position generally is that taken at the time the Commissioner files his answer.” 2018 T. C. Memo. 10, at p. 11.

Dave waited five (count ‘em, five) months after the last of said dates to proffer his partner’s affidavit. No admins or legals for Dave.

This is pretty cut-and-dried, but what is interesting is what Judge Lauber doesn’t decide.

For admins and legals there is the $2 million net worth tripwire. If net worth jumps that hurdle, no admins and legals for the “prevailing party,” however far out to lunch IRS might have been.

But whose net worth? We have here an LLC and an individual member (partner).

The magic language is not found in the IRC, but in 28 USC §2412(d)(2)(B). “‘(P)arty’ means (i) an individual whose net worth did not exceed $2,000,000 at the time the civil action was filed, or (ii) any owner of an unincorporated business, or any partnership, corporation, association, unit of local government, or organization, the net worth of which did not exceed $7,000,000 at the time the civil action was filed….”

Dave says “yeah, my net worth was greater than $7 million at the material time, but the LLC’s wasn’t.” IRS says, “OK, Dave, but you were an owner of the LLC at those times.”

So what price the comma after the word “business” and the relative pronoun “of which?” Should be time for a great dictionary chaw and psycholinguistic foxtrot through Grammerly, Strunk & White, the Chicago Manual and the U.S. Gov’t style manual.

But Judge Lauber punts. Even assuming Dave’s argument is correct, his belated affidavit from his partner came too late.

“Given our disposition, we need not decide this threshold question.” 2018 T. C. Memo. 10, at p. 9.


In Uncategorized on 01/30/2018 at 08:54


She’s starred in my blogposts “Somebody Does Read This Blog,” 12/4/11, “A Word to a Reader,” 7/3/13, and “Somebody Does Read This Blog – Part Deux,” 6/14/14. And she finally slides in under the IRS tag, as Judge Mark V. Holmes extends his arms, palms down.

Here’s Melissa Coffey Hulett a.k.a. Melissa Coffey, et al., 150 T. C. 4, filed 1/29/18, but this full-dress T. C. concerns Judith Coffey, who wins summary J based upon SOL. And of course the Government of the U. S. Virgin Islands, devastated but game, are in on the play.

Judith filed 1040s for years at issue with Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue. She sent them to the right service bureau. The 1040s had the requisite information and were timely. The point, of course, is whether Judith was a bona fide Virgin Islander. If so, she got the unguided largesse that Congress bestowed upon Our Insolvent Islands in the Sun, but that IRS denounced as a gimmick.

IRS claims Judith never filed with them. “…some VI residents have to file only with the VIBIR, some VI residents and some VI nonresidents have to file with both the VIBIR and the IRS, and some VI nonresidents have to file only with the IRS.” 150 T. C. 4, at p. 7.

Judith filed only with VIBIR, claiming to be a bona fide resident and partner in a partnership doing the same stuff (but in the VI) that she did Stateside. And VIBIR forwarded Judith’s tax doings to IRS per “…the Tax Implementation Agreement (TIA), U.S.-V.I. (Feb. 24, 1987), 1989-1 C.B. 347. Pursuant to the TIA, the United States and the VI will share information to administer and enforce their respective tax laws. Id. art. 4(1), 1989-1 C.B. at 348. Also, the VI will supply the United States with ‘copies of reports of individual * * * audit changes that disclose information relevant to the United States.’ Id. art. 4(2)(b), 1989-1 C.B. at 348-49. The TIA provides that the VIBIR will allow the IRS to examine VI tax returns. Id. app. A, sec. 3.1, 1989-1 C.B. at 352.” 150 T. C. 4, at pp. 9-10.

Now the VI is supposed to get what IRS collects from bona fide VI residents, via the “covering over” process, whereby VIBIR electronically forwards the taxpayer info it got from said residents to IRS, to make sure VIBIR gets the loot.

The IRS got copies of at least part of Judith’s 1040s for the years at issue. Sometimes VIBIR sent only the first two pages of Form 1040, and sometimes the full boat. In Judith’s case, they got at least the two pages (Judge Holmes reprints them for one year), and created statements of account based thereon (also reprinted).

Judith (and the USVI) claimed good faith belief that one was a VI resident was good enough for SOL, if one properly so filed. Tax Court said this was a question of fact, but Judith (and USVI) riposted that even if they were supposed to file both with IRS and VIBIR, when VIBIR “covered over” the returns to IRS, that was in all respects filing of a return. When IRS audited and issued SNODs five years later, they were too late.

As for the good faith belief argument, 11 Cir blew that off, and Judge Holmes won’t go further.

But was there a “return,” and was it “filed”?

Well, they filed a return, because it was on the right form, and provided at least enough information for IRS to audit it. It was signed under penalty of perjury, and evinced a good faith effort to comply with law.

And ultimately it got to the right place via the “covering over” procedure.

But was it processable? A return may omit schedules, but permit mathematical verification of the information reported thereon. A return may not be perfect, and may not even be complete, but can IRS compute a liability from what was furnished? Even if the computation is wrong; a fraudulent return is still a return.

“What do the undisputed facts here show? They show first of all that the IRS had enough to create a transcript of account–albeit one with zeros on almost all the lines. This is telling because, one should recall, the IRS’s answer to the question at oral argument of what the Coffeys should have filed if they weren’t sure they were residents was that they should have filed a return with all zeros. At the time the Coffeys actually filed their returns with the VIBIR this wasn’t the official word of the IRS–rather at oral argument, IRS counsel stated that the protective zero return was ‘[his] little baby.’ But not too long afterward, the IRS did issue Notice 2007-19, 2007-1 C.B. 689, which also said taxpayers in the Coffeys’ position should file zero returns.

“And what the IRS actually got had more information than any zero return.” 150 T. C.4, at p. 42.

“The IRS wants returns on the forms it prescribes, and it got that form–at least a good part of it–here. There is no question that the IRS was clueless about how to handle what it got–but the undisputed facts show that the IRS was able to stamp it received, summarize its contents in its Individual Master File, and open an audit in due course; it just didn’t issue the notices of deficiency before the statute of limitations ran out.” 150 T. C. 4, at p. 45.

And if it looks honest, even if it isn’t, it’s a return. The processing crew at IRS deals with millions of returns and non-returns. They can’t delve into the minds of millions of taxpayers to determine good faith belief.

IRS argues Judith should have filed an “all zeros” return with them. But how an “all zeros” return is a return, when all the protester cases say it isn’t, is nowhere explained.

Now it’s true what IRS got was not a return with a “wet ink” manual signature. And Judge Holmes is careful to state that, although the IRC doesn’t require same, we should not overlook that principle. A signature means “this is my return and I really mean it.” But here IRS got a document authenticated by VIBIR.

“To sum it up, the IRS failed to promulgate mandatory regulations under section 932, failed to tell taxpayers that they should file protective zero returns, and failed to send the Coffeys a notice of deficiency within three years of receiving the cover-over documents. And, only a few short years later, the IRS finally did promulgate regulations that adopt precisely the position that the Coffeys took about how to start the statute of limitations.” 150 T.C. 4, at p. 58.

Now Judge Holmes and the Tax Court bench aren’t ruling on whether Judith and mishpocha (if I may be permitted an arcane technical term) are bona fide Virgin Islanders. But IRS could’ve challenged that, because they had processable info, but waited too long.

IRS is out.






In Uncategorized on 01/28/2018 at 23:11

Chief Whistler Lee D. Martin wants to prove Stephen Sondheim right, and he claims a better batting average for the Ogden Sunseteers than Steve had in 1964, when his now-cult musical entitled as above-stated cratered. “In FY 2017 the Whistleblower Office made 242 awards to whistleblowers totaling $33.9 million dollars and had a 50 percent increase in IRC § 7623(b) awards paid.”

How d’ya like those numbers? Here’s the whole scoop.

Click to access fy17_wo_annual_report_final.pdf

Obviously Judge James S. (“Big Jim”) Halpern needn’t worry about how the Ogden Sunseteers are handling the public’s resources. See my blogpost “A. Nonymous, Serial Blower,” 6/28/17.


In Uncategorized on 01/26/2018 at 15:50

I do have sympathy for that Obliging Jurist, Judge David Gustafson, when confronted with Cecil K. Kyei, Docket No. 9118-12, filed 1/26/18.

CKK’s tactic seems to be to enter into a stipulated decision after he files Chapter 13. Then the stipulated decision is tossed on 11USC§362(a)(8) grounds, whereupon CKK stipulates again, and files Chapter again.


So Judge Gustafson gets a little bewildered. “On June 8, 2015, the parties filed a stipulation (ECF 20) reflecting a settlement of the case, and on June 25, 2015, the Court duly entered decision (ECF 23). However, on November 18, 2015, respondent filed a motion to vacate (ECF 24), advising the Court that petitioner had filed a bankruptcy petition on November 17, 2015 (i.e., before June 2015, when the parties filed their stipulation and the Court entered its decision). Because the automatic stay of 11 U.S.C. § 362(a)(8) had deprived this Court of jurisdiction to enter decision in this case, we vacated the decision by order of November 23, 2015 (ECF 25).” Order, at p. 1.

Judge, I think you meant that CKK filed his petition on November 17, 2014, which is definitely before June 25, 2015, and not November 17, 2015, which isn’t. CKK’s in-again, out-again would confuse anyone.

So after that bankruptcy proceeding was tossed, IRS tried again to file a motion for entry of decision before CKK hit the Bankruptcy Court NDGA yet again.

But IRS is now farblungeit, if I may be permitted an arcane technical term.

“The motion as it appears on the Court’s electronic record is evidently missing multiple pages, because the motion consists of numbered paragraphs that skip from 2 to 17. The motion alleges that ‘respondent’s counsel has not received a reply [to an unspecified communication] from petitioner’, and that ‘Petitioner’s telephone number remains out of service.’ The motion requests ‘that the Court enter a decision in this case pursuant to the agreement of the parties and in accordance with the attached decision document’ (i.e., ECF 23). As far as we can tell, the motion relies solely on the alleged agreement of June 2015 and not on any default or lack of prosecution under Rule 123(a) or (b).” Order, at pp. 2-3.

Judge Gustafson, now thoroughly befogged, failed to notice that the agreement IRS was relying upon was the June 2015 stip which was voided per the automatic stay. In an earlier order, Judge Gustafson ordered CKK to show earlier this week to argue about entering a decision.

Of course CKK didn’t show. And if the agreement IRS relied upon was void, why should CKK waste time? Even if decision was entered by default, it was still void.

So Judge Gustafson tells IRS the ”… motion for entry of decision is denied without prejudice to the filing of a motion that is complete and that explains how an agreement entered into in June 2015 would not have been void by virtue of the automatic stay.” Order, at p. 2.

And both IRS and CKK should ”…make an appropriate filing, which shall include the party’s recommendation as to further proceedings.” Order, at p. 2.

My morning line is 8 to 5 for the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of GA.


In Uncategorized on 01/25/2018 at 23:09

Like Judge Ruwe in my blogpost “Amen, Judge Posner,” 12/22/16, Judge Foley eschews factors, “somber reasoning and copious citation of precedent” and the usual laborious trudge through Reg. 1.183-2 (which Judge Posner characterized as “goofy”) in Joy Ford, 2018 T. C. Memo. 8, filed 1/25/18.

This my blog comes to you late due to hospitality at the annual meeting of the New York State Bar Association (thanks again, Steve), and intermittent connectivity breakdown from the Glasshouse website, being laboriously restored by the Second Street, NW Genius Bar.

Joy is a former country music recording artist, who, with late husband Sherman buys, and thereafter due to trust finds and brokerage account pours copious quantities of money into, Bell Cove Club in Hendersonville, TN. This is a country music showcase for songwriters and performers, to enable and invigorate the music Joy so much loves.

Admission charges and snack and beverage sales don’t begin to cover payments to the wannabes and headliners, and general operating costs. And her recordkeeping was a wee bit casual.

“Petitioner maintained incomplete handwritten ledgers and sporadically retained receipts relating to Bell Cove’s expenses. Her records, however, bore no relationship to the income and expenses reported on her returns.” 2018 T. C. Memo. 8, at p. 3.

Joy talked to a television producer to try to do a show from the club, but that was just talk, and Joy didn’t follow the advice of business experts who told her to run a proper seafood restaurant.

So Judge Foley don’t need no stinkin’ factors.

“In short, petitioner did not have the requisite intent to make a profit and thus may not deduct the losses in dispute. She had no expertise in club ownership, maintained inadequate records, disregarded expert business advice, nonchalantly accepted Bell Cove’s perpetual losses, and made no attempt to reduce expenses, increase revenue, or improve Bell Cove’s overall performance. Owning Bell Cove elevated petitioner’s status in the country music community, allowed her to further the careers of young performers, offered her weekly opportunities to interact with country music fans, and satiated her love for promoting country music. Petitioner earnestly devoted time and energy to Bell Cove but was primarily motivated by personal pleasure, not profit, and simply used the club’s losses to offset her trust and capital gain income.” 2018 T. C. Memo. 8, at pp. 5-6. (Citations and footnotes omitted).

Joy claimed some NOLs, but had no proof.

But Joy misses the chops, as IRS flunks the Graev Section 6751(b) Boss Hoss test; Judge Foley doesn’t play around with keeping the record open for IRS to dig for evidence.

It’s the straight-from-the-shoulder approach that Judge Posner would love.



In Uncategorized on 01/24/2018 at 16:50

Going to the mat doesn’t help James S. Plato, 2018 T. C. Memo. 7, filed 1/24/18, but IRS’ fumbles still save him some money. Plato, separated from Mrs. Plato (first name not stated), left the prepared tax return for year at issue, and check for payment of tax thereon shown “under the mat at the front door” of his wife’s residence, and told Mrs. Plato to mail same to IRS, 2018 T. C. Memo. 7, at p. 3. Plato also subsequently told Mrs. Plato to file for an extension.

IRS got none of the above, and no evidence was presented that the check was cashed. Plato filed Form 1040 MFS after audit, SFR and SNOD, and paid the amount shown on the belated (eight-year-old) 1040. IRS processed that, and stiped to the amount thereon as basis for the add-ons, like late filing, late payment and insufficient withholding.

Those are the only open issues.

Excusing late filing by agent has been a nonstarter since US v.Boyle, 469 U.S. 241 (1985). Each must bear his own burdens, as a much more exalted authority has stated. So Plato gets hit for that add-on.

Nonpayment of tax shown on return here is based on the SFR, and Section 6020(b), which sets forth the requirements for proper subscription thereof. IRS blows that one.

Judge Paris: “The Court has held that the requirements of section 6020(b) have been met where an SFR consists of Form 4549, Income Tax Examination Changes; Form 886-A, Explanation of Items; and Form 13496, IRC Section 6020(b) Certification.

“Respondent entered into evidence a Form 3623, Statement of Account, a Form 4549, and a Form 886-A.  The Form 3623 has the docket number for petitioner’s case typed at the top of the form.  Thus, the Form 3623 was not a part of the SFR prepared before petitioner filed a petition with the Court and was issued a docket number for his case.  The Forms 4549 and 886-A are both dated ‘12/15/2015’ and contain calculations based on petitioner’s separate return.  There is no Form 13496 in the record.  Respondent has failed to meet his burden of production with respect to the appropriateness of imposing the section 6651(a)(2) addition to tax.  Therefore, the determination in the notice of deficiency of the addition to tax for failure to pay the tax shown on the return is not sustained.” 2018 T. C. Memo. 7, at p. 9 (Citations omitted).

Oh, and the SFR itself never got into evidence.

IRS does no better with failure to pay estimateds. Plato and Mrs. Plato reside in The Lone Star State, home of the most fabulous sister acts going (my daughters and my granddaughters), and also home of community property. Besides, the Platos filed jointly the year before the year at issue. Remember, Plato hisself filed MFS in the year at issue, triggering the Reg. 1.6654-2(e) special rule when marrieds go from J to S or vice versa, to compute 100% of prior year or 90% of present year’s tax to see if withholding was too low.

“An IRS account transcript for the [prior year] joint return was entered into evidence.  The transcript shows that petitioner and his spouse reported adjusted gross income of $74,717 and tax per the return of $5,144….  Although there were withholding payments of $7,458 made in [year at issue], community property law in the State of petitioner’s residence requires that amount to be allocated when the married spouses chose to file separately.  No information was entered into evidence that allocated the adjusted gross income and tax per return for [prior year] between petitioner and his spouse.  Therefore, the Court cannot complete its analysis to decide petitioner’s required annual payment under section 6654(d)(1)(B) for [year at issue] because, although it can calculate 90% of petitioner’s tax for [year at issue] under clause (i), it cannot identify the number equal to 100% of the tax shown on petitioner’s [prior year] return under clause (ii). Respondent has failed to carry his burden of production; thus, the addition to tax for failure to pay estimated tax for [year at issue] is not sustained.” 2018 T. C. Memo. 7, at pp. 11-12 (Footnote and citation omitted).


In Uncategorized on 01/23/2018 at 15:50

No opinions or decisions today from The Glasshouse at 400 Second Street, NW, but there are two undesignated orders from old cases that should be put out of their misery, but aren’t.

Here’s Ory Eshel & Linda Coryell Eshel, Docket No. 8055-12, filed 1/23/18. Ory & Lin are the battling enfants de la patrie from my blogpost “Reste Immobile, Enfants de la Patrie,” 8/3/17, and the other and further blogposts therein cited, as my Grey-Goose-Gibson-guzzling high-priced colleagues would say.

Well, after Judge Lauber’s dictionary-chaw was bounced right back at him by DC Cir, IRS went to State Department and asked them to parley-vous with the French socialist securitors as to the true meaning and effect of the Tote, that is, the United States – France Totalization Agreement. This diplomatic gem whacks up the tax moneys paid by Innocents Abroad here and there as to what is income tax (maybe creditable or deductible) and what is social security or FICA-style (neither).

Needless to say, if talk isn’t cheap where lawyers are concerned, time is of no value when diplomats start chatting diplomatically. Ory & Lin move Judge Lauber to hold a hearing and decide something, anything, so they can get on with what is left of their lives.

“While we understand petitioners’ frustration at the slow pace at which diplomatic wheels grind, this Court is in no position to set the schedule on which sovereign governments conduct their diplomacy. The Court of Appeals directed this Court on remand to do its best to ascertain the ‘shared understanding’ of the United States and France concerning the proper interpretation of the Totalization Agreement and its application to the two French laws at issue. The pending diplomatic exchanges may shed important light on whether there is a ‘shared understanding’ between these governments and (if so) what it is. We believe it would be inappropriate, and contrary to the spirit of the Court of Appeals’ remand, to decide, before the termination of these diplomatic proceedings, the question petitioners wish us to decide.” Order, at p. 1.

But if you want some busywork, file a status report by March 23.

Back again are that unfortunate pair, Gregory Raifman & Susan Raifman, 3897-14, filed 1/23/18. All y’all will remember Greg and Sue, first swindled by the improbably-named-but-larcenously-inclined Yuri Debevc Derivium (see my blogpost “We Wuz Robbed,” 8/7/12) and then by the ClassicStar horse thieves (see my blogpost “An Unerring Nose for Fraud,” 2/27/15).

Now fifteen (count ’em, fifteen) months-plus after trial with no decision, Judge Nega finds Graev doubts about the chops IRS wants to unload on Greg & Sue.

So Judge Nega gives IRS a week to lay these doubts in the grave (sorry, guys) by producing the Section 6751(b) Boss Hoss sign-off. And Greg and Sue get a week thereafter to come back, with any motion due by mid-February.

No justice, no peace.


In Uncategorized on 01/22/2018 at 22:51

No Section 6662(a) chop for Barry G. Conner and Bridget H. Conner, 2018 T. C. Memo. 8, filed 1/22/18, because they were unsophisticated, and told everything to their CPA (34 years’ experience and numerous real estate clients).

It’s Barry G’s story. Barry G was a homebuilder who came a cropper in the Meltdown of ’08. He hung onto his multifarious raw lands, unloading one to an unsolicited bidder, giving another to a church, refinancing and riding with the rest. He did have some plans drawn and permits pulled, but dug not one shovelful of earth.

Now all my super-sophisticated readers know preliminaries aren’t the “rill estet bidniz,” whether by classic factors or facts-and-circumstances. Even though Barry G. lumped them all, throwing in a Sub S with a bunch of LLCs is a nonstarter (disregarded cannot merge with pass-through), and no business activity for years is enough to bury Barry G.’s pro status. And of course Barry G. can’t establish his hours for pro status by any test.

Judge Kerrigan allows Barry G. ordinary losses for sales of 1231 property (model homes and sales centers). Barry G.’s trusty CPA showed depreciation schedules and testified how the returns were prepared.

And trusty CPA spares Barry G. the Section 662(a) chop.

“Mr. M was in charge of preparing petitioners’ income tax returns and [Sub S]’s income tax returns. He testified that petitioners were relying upon him to prepare an accurate return and he decided which forms should be used for the reporting of various entities. Mr. M was a competent professional who had sufficient expertise to justify reliance.

“Petitioners provided complete and accurate records to [Mr. M’s firm] and relied on [Mr. M.’s firm] to properly prepare their returns. Mr. M testified that he had all the necessary information to prepare petitioners’ income tax returns. Petitioners relied on [Mr. M.’s firm]’s advice and took positions on their returns consistent with its advice. Because of the complexity of petitioners’ income tax returns and the experience of Mr. M and [Mr. M’s firm], it was reasonable for petitioners to rely upon their advice. We find that petitioners are not liable for the accuracy-related penalties under section 6662(a).” 2018 T. C. Memo. 8, at p. 47. (Names omitted.)

Mr. M and his firm pushed the envelope a little too hard. But that’s one of the risks we advisers run in this tough calling.

Nice to see stand-up advisers, after a day of CLE at opening day of the New York State Bar Association annual meeting.


In Uncategorized on 01/20/2018 at 08:42

It took seven-plus years and 2261 blogposts, but this my blog finally got to 50,000 viewers, sometime during the night of 1/18/18. No prize for the fifty-thousandth viewer, alas.

Oh, I know the blogs of the rich-and-famous get that many viewers every nanosecond every time they post.

But I’m neither rich nor famous, and the doings of the United States Tax Court are hardly of enthralling interest to any but the very, very few.

Nevertheless and notwithstanding, to those few, I have to say, paraphrasing the 1929 Broadway musical, “50,000 viewers can’t be wrong.”