In Uncategorized on 05/15/2019 at 23:19


Whistleblower 972-17W, filed 5/15/19, got to send the Ogden Sunseteers some interrogatories last July, because the proffered administrative record was lacking. IRS’ responses raised more questions than they answered.

972-17W wants more discovery. A former Governor of Our Fair State once remarked that “The only cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy.” Maybe 972-17W feels the same way about discovery.

And STJ Daniel A. (“Yuda”) Guy, making a welcome reappearance in this my blog (although I wish he’d designate these orders), agrees that the Ogden Sunseteers are being parsimonious in revealing the stuff they considered when bouncing 972-17W’s Form 211.

But our former Governor didn’t get it right. Now that Judge Vasquez’s doubts have been laid to rest, STJ Yuda has a new discovery tool.

“We recently held in Whistleblower 769-16W v. Commissioner, 152 T.C. __ (Apr. 11, 2019), that this Court may remand a whistleblower case in appropriate circumstances. As noted above, there is little in the administrative record that identifies or describes the specific information that petitioner provided to the IRS regarding tax-avoidance activities of taxpayers1, 2, and 3. The Court agrees with petitioner that respondent’s responses to the limited discovery permitted by the Court have generated more questions than answers and reveal gaps in the administrative record.” Order, at p. 7.

For the skinny on 769-16W, see my blogpost “Anyone Can Whistle – And Get Remanded,” 4/11/19.

But remand is not a free-fire zone.

“Under the circumstances, rather than permit further discovery, the Court will direct the parties to show cause why this case should not be remanded to the WBO for further investigation and development of the administrative record. The parties shall include in their responses a comprehensive list of the matters that the WBO should be required to address as part of the remand process and a proposed time line for the completion of those proceedings.” Order, at p. 8.

And do it before the July 4 weekend.

I had high hopes that the incumbent Chief Whistler, Lee D. Martin, would bring a greater degree of professionalism to Ogden. He still has a ways to go. But he was a delightful luncheon companion at the last Tax Court Judicial Conference.


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