Attorney-at-Law

THE 24-HOUR RULE

In Uncategorized on 06/11/2020 at 20:11

We all know the 24-second rule and the 5-second rule, but as we had no March Madness of the kind we know and love this year, but only a March Madness of a much worse kind than we could have imagined, perhaps we forgot.

Judge Albert G (“Scholar Al”) Lauber has today’s take on the 24-hour rule in Alexander Strashny and Laura Strashny, 2020 T. C. Memo. 82, filed 6/11/20. Alex and Laura are up on a CDP, claiming they should have been given an IA because they could pay in six (count ‘em, six) years.

Sure they could.

“They reported annual wages exceeding $200,000 and were withdrawing an additional $19,000 per month (or $228,000 annually) from their cryptocurrency account. They supplied no evidence that they were unable to withdraw from that account sufficient additional sums to pay their tax liability in full.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 82, at p. 8.

The monthly $19K goodies came from the Strashny stash of $7 (count ‘em, $7) million in cryptocurrency, 2020 T. C. Memo. 82, at p. 3. And they owed about $1.1 million in uncontested liabilities.

Gotta hand it to their trusty attorneys, Jeremy and Michael, to whom I award a Taishoff “good try, third class.”

Note the dates.

“In their motion for summary judgment petitioners urge that the IRS erred in issuing the notice of intent to levy while their Form 9465 request for an IA was pending. In so contending they rely on section 6331(k)(2), which provides that no levy shall be made while a taxpayer’s request for an IA ‘is pending with the Secretary’ or (if such request is rejected) ‘during the 30 days thereafter.’ See also IRM pt. 5.14.1.5 (Mar. 4, 2011). But while section 6331(k)(2) ‘bars the IRS * * * from making a levy’ during this period, ‘it does not bar the IRS from issuing notices of intent to levy.’ Eichler v. Commissioner, 143 T.C. 30, 37 (2014). Unlike a levy itself, a ‘notice of intent to levy * * * is merely preliminary to a collection action, rather than a collection action barred by section 6331(k)(2).’ Id. at 38.” 2020 T. C. 82, at pp. 8-9.

For the backstory on Eichler, see my blogpost “It’s Only a Notice,” 7/23/14.

But the kicker is the 24-hour rule above-cited.

“Finally, petitioners contend that the IRS failed to comply with an IRM provision stating that a taxpayer’s request for an IA should be recorded within 24 hours of receipt. See IRM pt. 5.14.1.3(3) (July 16, 2018). This provision is apparently designed to prevent inadvertent violations of section 6331(k)(2) by ensuring prompt posting of IA requests.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 82, at p. 9.

But the Form 9465 IA request was mailed July 24, and reached the IRS Service Center on July 27, a Friday that year. The flailing datestampers thereat logged it in on the following Monday.

But mox nix, says Judge Scholar Al.

“Any error by the IRS in this respect was harmless in any event: No levy in violation of section 6331(k)(2) occurred, and petitioners received full consideration of their IA proposal during the CDP hearing.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 82, at pp. 9-10.

Anyway, the IRM creates no rights in taxpayers. The IRM contains “guidelines, aspirational goals,:” as certain other pirates have remarked.

 

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