In Uncategorized on 04/18/2019 at 16:37

Innocent spousery falls to the lot of STJ Lewis (“Honor That Name”) Carluzzo, as he enwraps himself in the mantle of a judge of even greater renown, in Elaine S. Thomas, Petitioner and Robert Roy Thomas, Intervenor, Docket No. 5680-18S, filed 4/18/19.

This off-the-bench designated hitter is about something less than $5K. STJ Lew questions the stipulated attribution of all to Rob Roy, but apparently is convinced by the record.

STJ Lew loves IRS counsel’s pretrial memo, which “…accurately and thoroughly (1) sets forth the background of this case; (2) describes the procedures respondent follows in such matters; and (3) lists the factors considered by respondent in responding to a taxpayer’s request for section 6015 relief. The pretrial memorandum also correctly notes that the Court, in general, considers the same set of factors respondent considers, although we are not limited to those factors or bound by respondent’s conclusions with respect to each factor.” Transcript, at p. 5.

It’s so good STJ Lew doesn’t bother to quote it. What a shame we all can’t read it, unless we surry on down to the stone soul picnic at 400 Second Street, NW; wouldn’t it be loverly if we could peruse each page at our leisure and at a dime a throw on PACER or equivalent?

STJ Lew cavils with only a couple points (hi, Judge Holmes, best holiday wishes to you and the whole crowd at The Glass House).

Elaine testifies credibly she didn’t know that Rob Roy was going to stiff the Federales, despite IRS and Rob Roy claiming she did know. Rob Roy was paying timely on a IA covering other years at that point, so she reasonably thought he’d throw this one in as well.

“We are more persuaded by the specific conduct pointed out by petitioner than we are by the general description of her and intervenor’s financial condition at the relevant time. We consider this factor neutral, rather than weighing against relief, as respondent scored it.

“On the other hand, because in the marital separation agreement, petitioner agreed to pay half of the…liability, we weigh the legal obligation factor against granting relief, even though respondent scored the factor as neutral.” Transcript, at pp. 6-7.

You can see STJ Lew reaching for that mantle, and the scourge of whips attributed by his successor to the famous Judge above-cited.

“We are particularly influenced by petitioner’s agreement to pay half of the [year at issue] liability. We are also influenced by the decision made by petitioner and intervenor to pay certain expenses rather than their [year at issue] income tax liability. Although the record shows their financial situation was less than comfortable, the record also shows that they had the resources to pay the liability but chose to save or allocate funds for other Purposes [sic]. Lastly, we are influenced by the fact that the unpaid [year at issue] liability is mostly, if not entirely attributable to intervenor. Giving effect to the martial settlement agreement, we see no reason why petitioner should continue to be liable for his share, nor do we see any reason why, or consider it inequitable to continue to hold her liable for hers.” Transcript, at pp. 7-8.


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