In Uncategorized on 03/12/2020 at 16:14

Those magic words either open or close the door to a fight over liability for a tax, addition, or chop, or all of the above. Thus, when Joseph Thomas Lander and Kimberly W. Lander, 154 T. C. 7, filed 3/12/20, who admittedly did not receive the SNOD that the IRS mailed both to their last known residence and JT’s temporary abode in a Federal slammer, the question arises.

Was a meeting with Appeals, whereat JT & Kim disputed their liability to the extent that Appeals abated some of it, such an opportunity? Prior caselaw says that in an assessable, where no SNOD required, a trip to Appeals where the party assessed gets a chance to bukh about how IRS did them wrong, is sufficient. But what about where an unreceived SNOD is involved?

STJ Daniel A. (“Yuda”) Guy had this one, but since it’s a first-impression job, the generalities get a whack at it, and Judge Goeke, writing for a unanimous bench, hands down the full-dress T. C., saying, yes the trip to Appeals was a chance to contest.

“The record shows that petitioners were afforded a postassessment conference with the Appeals Office.  After the IRS sent petitioners a notice and demand for payment of the tax due…, they requested a reexamination of their tax liability.  The audit reconsideration process that followed began with a review of the matter by the Examination Division.  When the Examination Division reaffirmed the adjustments to petitioners’ tax liability as determined in the notice of deficiency, they requested and were granted an independent review in the Appeals Office.  AO B engaged with petitioners, took a fresh look at the record, conceded certain issues, and abated a significant portion of the tax previously assessed against them.  Only then did the IRS file the tax lien that led to the additional collection review proceedings in the Appeals Office and this action.” 154 T. C. 7, at pp. 31-32. (Name omitted).

It seems JT & Kim also asked for CNC, which Appeals never considered, and Kim wanted innocent spousery, which Appeals apparently also overlooked. So Judge Goeke remands for a hash-out for those.

Takeaway- If offered a trip to Appeals, take it, but lay everything on the table.

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