In Uncategorized on 02/15/2018 at 15:03

And That’s Not Rocket Science

No kidding, Peter Changching Lai is a rocket scientist. To continue working in his chosen profession, he moves from Southern CA to Northern CA and back again, claiming travel expenses both ways in separate years. Unhappily, PCL gets hit coming and going.

So here’s a split decision in an off-the-bencher from Judge Buch, Peter Changching Lai & Kaiting Su, Docket No. 5699-17S, filed 2/15/18.

PCL got laid off his SoCal job, and took a gig up north to pay the bills while he sought to return to the southland. He claims it was temporary, and took a deduction for the move up north. But the gig lasted three (count ‘em, three) years.

“Section 162(a) provides that ‘the taxpayer shall not be treated as being temporarily away from home during any period of employment if such period exceeds 1 year.’ Employment is considered temporary if the engagement is expected to last for only a short period. Temporary employment may become indefinite, however, if it is expected to 1ast for a substantial, indefinite, or indeterminate duration or due to changed circumstances or the passage of time.” Order, transcript, at p. 8. (Citations omitted).

And of course, it all goes off on facts and circumstances, with burden of proof on PCL.

PCL claims his stay up north wasn’t permanent, but that’s not the point. It was indefinite, and it lasted beyond one year.

As for the move back south, PCL loses that one because he hints that maybe so his employer would’ve picked up the tab, even if he never got paid for any of it.

A man of many talents, he also claims the cost of materials for a self-created artwork he donated to a church. Judge Buch finds enough substantiation in PCL’s records to give him a grand more than IRS allowed on that, and cuts him some slack on his other charitables.

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