In Uncategorized on 10/01/2019 at 15:28

Judge Elizabeth A (“Tex”) Copeland had a timeline to unravel in Tramy T. Van, Docket No. 4460-17, filed 10/1/19, and it’s quite a tangled one. Seems that there were three (count ‘em, three) separate SNODs, spread over two years. Only two of the SNODs touched the year Tramy is petitioning. But Tramy claims she’s petitioning all three years covered by the three SNODs, even though she never received any.

IRS sent them to Tramy’s last known address, which was the address only of ex-husband Danny Chan. Tramy filed two petitions, but the second of them was tossed because it petitioned the first of the three SNODs, which had been mailed to last known address two years before (although IRS couldn‘t find the certified mail list, claimed at first that the petition was valid, and tried to toss Tramy’s second petition as duplicative).

So Tramy’s petition 1, petitioning SNOD 3, is timely. Clear? Thought not.

But is it a petition? “To be treated as a petition from a particular notice of deficiency, the document filed by taxpayers within the 90-day period must contain some objective indication that the taxpayer contests the deficiency determined by respondent against the taxpayer.” Order, at p. 6. (Citations omitted).

And the petition (or an amendment thereof) must let IRS know something about what bœuf the petitioner has. “Further, our Court Rules provide a petition must be ‘complete so as to enable ascertainment of the issues intended to be presented.’ Rule 34(a). ‘[T]he propose [sic] of [a petition, along with other pleadings filed in this Court] is to give the parties and the Court fair notice of the matters in controversy and the basis for their respective positions.’ Rule 31(a).” Order, at p. 6.

“Propose”? Somebody needs to proofread these orders.

Well, Tramy seems to have got it right. “In paragraph six of Petition #1, petitioner contests ‘all’ changes to her [year at issue] return with respect to her as an individual and her two businesses, Tramy Beauty School (Partnership) and Tramy Beauty School, Inc. (S Corp).” Order, at pp. 6-7.

Now just because she didn’t get the SNOD in the mail doesn’t preclude Tramy from contesting the year covered by the SNOD, or any interrelated year (a NOL carryforward from the year at issue got disallowed in the SNOD she petitioned).

I’ll let Judge Tex lay it out.

“Under our precedent, Notice #3 was deemed to be received by petitioner because it was mailed in accordance with section 6212(b). This safe harbor, however, does not prevent petitioner from access to the Court because she was unaware of a deemed received notice when she filed Petition #1. Rather, we use a snapshot in time approach; petitioner explicitly contests any redetermination with respect to [year at issue] in Petition #1; she observed that a year at issue in the notice she actually received are interrelated to [year at issue], and as such, brought it to respondent and the Court’s attention. Stated differently, in the Petition #1 case, respondent’s Notice #3 is valid, petitioner contested respondent’s redetermination within 90 days of such notice, and although she asserts she did not receive a [year at issue] notice, in Petition #1 she explicitly contested ‘all the IRS’s changes to the tax returns examined for the applicable tax years ending [year at issue] through [year three].’ Thus, the Court has jurisdiction over the [year at issue] in the Petition #1 case because it satisfies the statutory requirements under sections 6212(b) and 6213(a), and contains an objective indication that petitioner asked us to redetermine the deficiencies respondent determined against her for the [year at issue.” Order, at p. 7.

Judge, I wish you’d designated this order. There’s stuff here that practitioners should know.

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