In Uncategorized on 11/05/2019 at 16:01

Unless You’re a Great Bluffer

The old Hold ’em player’s maxim holds true. Don’t chase a blind with a bad hand; fold the ten-four off-suit, unless you can bluff with the best.

The German word schadenfreude, which has no equivalent single word in English, means “rejoicing in the misfortune of others.” I long ago eschewed engaging in schadenfreude; see my blogpost “A Tale of Three Lawyers,” 7/3/14.

So today I will give only the citation: 2019 T. C. Memo. 149, filed 11/5/19.

No names. But the tale told therein brings out the truth of the old maxim in bold relief.

I will not recite all that Judge Kerrigan found (or failed to find, because petitioners had no evidence but the burden of proof) on the trial. I will confine myself to stating that the lead petitioner “…holds a bachelor’s degree in law, a master’s degree in law, and a master of laws degree in litigation and dispute resolution.” 2019 T. C. Memo. 149, at p. 3. And that petitioners lost the case.

Inasmuch as lead petitioner obviously qualifies for automatic admission to US Tax Court (assuming still in good standing in the Courts of the petitioner’s home State), I must cite one, and only one, example.

“…petitioners claimed a $4,000 tuition and fees deduction on their joint Federal income tax return.  In the notice of deficiency for [year at issue] respondent disallowed this deduction.

“For qualifying individuals, section 222(a) allows a taxpayer to deduct an amount equal to qualified tuition and related expenses paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year.  See sec. 25A(f)(1).  Petitioners failed to substantiate a qualified tuition and related expense.  Petitioners produced a document which notified petitioner…that … payment to the University of Tulsa had been returned because of insufficient funds.  Respondent’s disallowance of this deduction is sustained.” 2019 T. C. Memo. 149, at p. 19.

I’ll draw the curtain. And the moral.

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