In Uncategorized on 12/04/2019 at 17:52

I’ve repeated more than once the remark made by an old-time stick-and-string racing yachtsman, who survived a hurricane off Bermuda, and wrote about how he survived it. “Six months after, someone sitting in your warm, dry and safe livingroom, with the second glass of your whiskey in his hand, will tell you what you should have done.”

Well, I won’t place Judge Goeke in an analogous position, but in Charles V. Fortin, Docket No. 22406-18W, filed 12/4/19, Judge Goeke tells the Ogden Sunseteers, who didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory in Richard E. Lacey II, what they should have done.

For the Lacey contretemps, see my blogpost “The Whistleblower Office – Blown,” 11/25/19.

“Petitioner filed a whistleblower claim with the Internal Revenue Service’s Whistleblower Office (WO)… alleging that taxpayer A failed to properly report petitioner’s receipts on Form 1099-K, Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions, and petitioner’s Form reported income that belonged to taxpayer A and should have been reported on taxpayer A’s Form 1099-K. The WO referred petitioner’s claim to an employment tax specialist who determined that petitioner’s claim did not present any tax issues and taxpayer A correctly reported gross receipts on Forms 1099-K.” Order, at p. 1.

Whereupon the Ogden Sunseteers bounced Charles’ Form 211, and Judge Goeke gives IRS summary J bouncing Charles’ petition.

Lest I be misunderstood, I’m not saying the Ogden Sunseteers should just be an open shower, pouring every off-the-wall story and every serial blower’s cut-and-paste from the public record onto the heads of the operating types. That would be just as arbitrary as sending nothing to operations, claiming nothing collected, and bouncing every blower, meritorious or not.

But here was at least a germ of a claim, so on it went. And the employment tax subject matter expert had the chance to vet it and decide to pursue or forebear.

Charles went a little too far.

“In his petition, petitioner asks the Court to issue a directive to taxpayer A to correctly report gross receipts on the information returns and to restore his whistleblower claim.” Order, at p. 2.

“Petitioner seeks to litigate whether taxpayer A properly reported receipts on information returns and restore his whistleblower claim. However, in whistleblower cases, we have jurisdiction only with respect to the award determinations. See sec. 7623(b). We do not have jurisdiction to determine whether taxpayer A violated tax law or to review taxpayer A’s reporting obligations. Nor do we have authority to direct the IRS to commence an examination or action against taxpayer A on the basis of petitioner’s whistleblower information.” Order, at p. 2. (Somber reasoning and copious citation of precedent omitted).

If someone hits you with income you don’t want, blowing the whistle on the hitter is a novel approach, but don’t try this at home (or anywhere else). I can just see the protester-defier crowd dropping Forms 211 on those who send the 1099s that get them hauled.

Judge Goeke closes with a statement that the Ogden Sunseteers did the right thing.


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