In Uncategorized on 12/30/2019 at 16:42

Melissa Featherston Lecour & Glenn Lecour, 22905-18L, filed 12/30/19, want an IA. But they need a year to straighten out their living expenses. And the AO on their case (self-reported taxes assessed) was a trifle casual with the IRM’s prescriptions.

So no summary J for IRS.

“Petitioners timely filed a petition requesting review of the notices of determination asserting that the IRS did not properly calculate petitioners’ ability to pay their outstanding Federal tax liabilities and that ‘[t]he IRM specifically directs that respondent shall allow a taxpayer one year to reorganize living expenses to meet petitioners’ allowable personal living expense standards.’ Petitioners further allege that ‘Respondent’s allowable personal living expense calculation does not permit respondent such one year period, for all claimed expenses.’” Order, at p. 3.

Ex-CSTJ Peter Panuthos: “We have held that an Appeals officer properly exercises his or her discretion by adhering to IRM provisions governing acceptance of collection alternatives. The IRM provides that settlement officers should allow taxpayers the national standard amount for their family size without questioning the amount actually spent. See IRM pt. and (7) (Aug.29,2018). For housing, utilities, and vehicle expenses, taxpayers are allowed the local standard amounts unless they have claimed lesser amounts. See IRM pt. and (b.). The IRM further advises that all deviations from the national and local standards must be ‘verified, reasonable and documented in the case history.’” See IRM pts., and and (b.).” Order, at pp. 4-5.

Seems clear enough, no? And Tax Court’s scope of review is abuse-of-discretion, not de novo. So ex-CSTJ Panuthos isn’t going to recalculate the AO’s number.

But ex-CSTJ Panuthos is a sidewalks-of-New York lawyer, and if he can’t find an ambiguity in a NOD, nobody can.

“Contrary to IRM guidelines, the Notice of Determination does not supply, and respondent’s motion and supporting declaration do not elucidate, any explanation for (1) the amounts used when calculating petitioners’ allowable expenses and whether they deviate from the local and national standards, or (2) the calculation of petitioners’ ability to pay for the initial 12-month period. Because the record demonstrates a departure from administrative guidelines without a full and clear explanation of the AO’s reasoning, there is a genuine issue of fact in this case and summary judgment is inappropriate.” Order, at p. 5.

Takeaway- Add the one-year reset to your AI toolkit. If it isn’t there already.





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