Attorney-at-Law

“THE GRATING ROAR OF PEBBLES”

In Uncategorized on 12/06/2018 at 11:45

Maybe Matty Arnold’s portrait of Dover Beach is a picture of me as Tax Court blogger. Again and again I comment upon some procedural flaw or shortcoming, whether statutory or regulatory, that trips up the pro se, and might even ensnare a practitioner. And the result is the very occasional recognition from on high, but more often a snub from the exalted ABA Committee on Taxation (to which eminent body I do not belong; my shoes are too dusky.).

However, cliché springs eternal, so at risk of wearying those few readers I have left, here’s a couple old beefs (hi, Judge Holmes) served up again to coldly furnish forth the blogger’s table.

First, Form 6, Ownership Disclosure Statement. The ratio of correct to defective Forms 6 is probably 1 to 100. Those corporate officers (they’re all pro se, of course) who cannot assimilate the concept of “state there is no such entity” comprise a surprisingly large part of Tax Court’s tossed petitioners. There were at least four of them today (12/6/18); to spare their officers embarrassment I won’t name them. Perhaps the only solution is to amend the form by putting next to each section “YOU CANNOT LEAVE THIS SPACE BLANK; IF THERE IS NONE, WRITE ‘NONE’.” Of course, it’s just possible that a public corporation with millions of shares traded every day might not know at any moment who owns any of their stock. In any event, the form needs to be updated going forward, as there are no longer tax matters partners for newer entities.

Next, the “blessed communion, fellowship divine” of private delivery services. See my blogpost “The Blessed Communion, Fellowship Divine,” 4/13/17. Dilatory pro se types commonly use the right service but the wrong method. Not everything on the FedEx, UPS, or DHL menu satisfies Notice 2016-30.

Even IRS gets confused. Here’s Cherynisha Marie Ingram, Docket No. 20023-18S, filed 12/6/18, but Cherynisha didn’t draw IRS’ counsel offside. She’s gotten SNODs for two years, 2016 and 2017.

Cherynisha sent in a petition to the 2017 SNOD dated July 9, 2018, “… received by the Court in an envelope sent by FedEx Ground and bearing a ship date of October 8, 2018.” Order, at p. 1.

My readers, glancing at the Notice 2016-30 list posted on every available surface in home or office, have already noticed that FedEx Ground is not included in the ranks of the Elect.

IRS apparently never posted the list, or maybe it fell off the wall, because, though they move to toss 2016 as untimely, “(R)espondent acknowledges that the petitioner attached a timely notice of deficiency for the tax year 2017 to her petition.” Order, at p.1.

Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley is positively douce. I expected something rougher than “(S)uch statement, however, raises questions vis-a-vis the rules under section 7502, I.R.C., regarding designated private delivery services.” Order, at p. 1.

So he directs IRS to “clarify” its position in a supplement to its motion to toss.

The statutory and regulatory grand slalom through which any PDS must go to certify one of its services (see my blogpost above-cited) guarantees that none of the Big Three will bother to add any service to the blessed communion. Why should they spend one minute or one cent on a process that will add nothing to their respective bottom lines? If the hapless pro se or ill-informed practitioner uses the wrong option, the PDS got paid, and xin loi about the toss. The only injured parties are the pro sese with meritorious claims that get tossed on a ridiculous hyper-technicality.

The pebbles roar again, and “bring the eternal note of sadness in.”

 

 

 

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