Attorney-at-Law

HIRED GUNS

In Uncategorized on 07/06/2020 at 10:52

Too often we find (and judges too) that the experts retained by litigants are more advocates for a party’s position than educators of the Court, or anyone else.

So a certain Family Court (jurisdiction unstated, but petitioner filed from NV), wearied of the Wild West scene, had an approved panel of experts, from which litigants were required to pick and pay, removing the experts’ temptation to get their opinions where they get their cornpone, as a much finer writer than I put it.

Peeved at having to fork over $13.5K for “the services of several attorney, physician, and psychology service providers,” as she and loved-once jousted over custody of their lineal descendants, Monique Epperson, Docket No. 20287-18W, filed 7/6/20, dropped a bunch of Forms 211 on the Ogden Sunseteers.

The above quoted matter is found in the aforesaid order, at p. 2.

Monique claims Family Court never filed 1099s on the recipients of this judicial largesse. She also claims that the Gang of Four providers never paid tax on the credit card, check and cash payments she gave them over two (count ’em, two) tax years.

The Ogden Sunseteers, facing this volley, bobbled the ball. Judge Elizabeth A. (“Tex”) Copeland explains.

“Upon receiving the initial Forms 211, the WBO assigned master claim number 2018-003598 to the Family Court (identified in the administrative file as Taxpayer A), and related claim numbers to the Contractors: 2018-003599 (Contractor B), 2018-003600 (Contractor C), 2018-003601 (Contractor D), and 2018-003602 (Contractor E). First, in the WBO’s electronic tracking system (e-trak), the WBO classifier coded the claims as falling within the purview of the Small Business and Self-Employed division (SB/SE) of the IRS. Then…the classifier re-coded the Family Court claim as belonging to the Tax Exempt and Government Entities division, particularly the sub-division responsible for Federal, State, and Local Governments (TEGE). Additionally, the classifier placed the Contractors’ claims in suspense based on the related master claim, with instruction to ‘follow any action taken on the related claim.'” Order, at pp. 3-4. (Footnote omitted).

The TEGE subject matter guru rightly concluded that Family Court paid nobody, so they weren’t required to file anything. The right Boss Hoss signed off, so the OS analyst sent Monique a bounce letter, stating “Allegations are Not Specific, Credible, or are Speculative.”

The OS analyst followed instructions, and simultaneously bounced Monique’s Contractors claims.

Judge Tex Copeland gives IRS summary J on Family Court. Monique paid the Contractors directly.

As to her Contractors claim, Monique can’t tell if any or all of them cleared the $200K Section 7623(b) gross income limit, but for summary J Judge Tex Copeland will give Monique a bye. The Section 7623(b)(5)(B) $2 million amount-in-dispute limit is another story.

Though Monique only claims $13.5K, the $2 million stop-strip is an affirmative defense, not a jurisdictional bar. And IRS only raises that in its summary J motion.

Too late, says Judge Tex Copeland. “An affirmative defense cannot be raised, for the first time, in a motion for summary judgment. Our rules require that an answer ‘be drawn so that it will advise the petitioner and the Court fully of the nature of the defense. * * * [T]he answer shall contain a clear and concise statement of every ground, together with the facts in support thereof on which the Commissioner relies and has the burden of proof.’ Rule 36(b); see also Whistleblower 14376-16W v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2017-181 at *14.” Order, at p. 8.

For the story of Six One Six Whiskey, star of the immediately aforementioned, see my blogpost “Voluntary Malgré Lui,” 9/18/17.

As to the Contractors, the record shows right church, wrong pew. Yes, a TEGE subject matterer sussed out Family Court. But an SBSE sachem never weighed in. The record is incomplete. There remain questions of fact as to what, if anything, SBSE did or concluded.

But IRS can try again. I make the morning line 8 to 5 for a motion to remand.

 

 

 

 

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