In Uncategorized on 07/14/2020 at 16:09

I’m used to plain speaking from Texas; my nearest and dearest Texans never fail to express themselves candidly and plainly.

Today Judge Elizabeth A. (“Tex”) Copeland has a designated hitter wherein she provides a vignette of plain speaking. Here’s Perimeter Protective Systems, Inc., Docket No, 255-18SL, filed 7/14/20.

Perimeter’s story revolves around its boss, Mr. Ken Hantman. Perimeter is an S Corp of many names. Its name changes, all in accordance with PA law, caused much confusion within IRS. At the same time, Perimeter was late with a couple 1065s (hi, Judge Holmes). IRS laid on the penalties, but partially abated them. Ken had signed returns earlier than IRS claimed they got them, so “risk of litigation” carried the day. He also claimed his bookkeeper robbed him, causing health and stress issues, and the name changes baffled IRS.

Ken got a NITL for the $800 remaining penalties, and he petitions the NOD affirming. He wants $9K from IRS (later reduced to $5K) for the time he spent straightening out this rommeltje. That’s one of the six words of Dutch I know.

Judge Tex Copeland gives the usual “pore li’l ole Tax Court” has no jurisdiction. If Ken claims tort, or wrongful collection of income tax or penalty, he needs to go to USDC or USCFC, per FTCA (26 USC §1346).  And Tax Court has no general equitable jurisdiction, only the shreds and shards Congress has grudgingly given.

Section 7430 legals-and-admins don’t apply to pro ses, however much they have “borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat,” as a much more exalted Authority put it. Judge Tex Copeland goes so far as to search the PA online Bar directory and can find no Hantman.

But finally comes the plain speaking.

“Perimeter nevertheless protests. Its petition claims that the penalties at issue here were ‘reduced to about $850 which was the correct penalty or interest for 2010 and 2012 returns [sic] slight lateness on my part in filing.’ It continues: ‘the whole year and a half involving a hundred or more hours of my [Mr. Hantman’s] time and many hours of my accountants, were simply taken in trespass due to IRS negligence * * * at the very least, full abatement, and properly entitled to compensation for not less than five thousand dollars.’ There is no legal basis for Perimeter’s restitution claim, and we doubt it intends to compensate the IRS, this Court, or the American taxpayer for the time and expenses we have incurred as a result of its President’s slight lateness in filing its 2010 and 2012 returns.” Order, at p. 8.

Judge, this American taxpayer respectfully thanks you.


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