In Uncategorized on 02/06/2019 at 14:48

Has The Judge with a Heart, STJ Rob’t N Armen, so soon forgotten the admonition he gave in my blogpost “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” 8/7/13?

Well, when it’s a partnership case, rather than a full-dress-T. C.-worthy international FICA kerfuffle, STJ Armen feels he has to sweat the small stuff.

Case in point is Pharmar Farms, LLC, Peter Flowers, Tax Matters Partner, Docket No. 9416-18S, filed 2/6/19. IRS wants a shutdown continuance, but can’t get hold of Pete to suss out whether he agrees. STJ Armen is inclined to go with the hold anyway, as the case has never been continued and it was only filed last Spring. Apparently a case hanging around for less than a year is a spring clichê in the Glasshouse, where ten-year-old cases are not uncommon.

But though the petition asks for small-case treatment, and references and attaches IRS notices, there is neither SNOD nor NOD to be found. Rather, pro se Pete has attached FPAAs for the two years he wants to place at issue.

IRS says nothing. I’m sure my learned readers have already picked up on the problem, but for those coming new to the post, I’ll let STJ Armen get a word in.

“…respondent does not, and has not since the filing of his Answer, questioned that this case qualifies as a ‘small tax case’ to be ’conducted under the small tax case procedures.’

“IRC section 7463 sets forth procedures governing certain types of disputes, most typically actions for redetermination involving deficiencies where the amount in dispute does not exceed $50,000. Subsection (f) of section 7463 specifies additional cases in which proceedings may be conducted under such section. Such additional cases do not include partnership cases. See Rule 170, Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure.

“Inasmuch as the present case appears to be a partnership case and not a deficiency case, it would not qualify as a ‘small tax case’ to be ‘conducted under small tax case procedures’. The Court’s February 25, 2019 Chicago, IL trial session is devoted to ‘small tax cases’, and the undersigned, who is assigned to conduct such session, is not authorized to decide partnership cases. See IRC 7443A(c).” Order, at p. 2. (Footnote omitted).

And let both sides show cause why this shouldn’t go on the regular docket.

Sometimes ya gotta sweat the small stuff.

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