Attorney-at-Law

THE BLAME GAME

In Uncategorized on 09/01/2020 at 17:30

A commentator from The Land of the Conservation Easement lamented the long delay in a case I blogged only yesterday under the caption “Let the Spinnin’ Wheel Spin,” 8/31/20. The commentator remarked that the case involved one MFJ 1040 return for a single year, and once the Sub S and LLC were disposed of, the issue was simple.

What price the syndicated (or maybe not syndicated) conservation easement, the commentator asked, with multiplex taxpayers with multiple entities, documents by the terabyte, appraisals, dueling experts, et hoc genus omne? Will these cases be the new Jarndyce v Jarndyce?

Far be it from me to condone dilatory tactics on any side. Justice delayed is justice denied, and the old cry “There’s no difference between ‘some day’ and ‘never'” is as true today as sixty years ago.

But a brief review of the facts in the case I blogged via a docket search shows that the petition was filed six (count ’em, six) years after the year at issue, and the SNOD issued only after two attempts by IRS to settle per Announcement 2005-80, both of which taxpayers rejected. The SNOD followed only as the SOL was about to run, with no Form 872 or any other extender in sight.

There were voluminous exhibits on the trial. See Sean L. Daichman and Linda E. Daichman, Docket No. 14368-15, filed 8/31/15.

Finally, there were five (count ’em, five) volumes of pretrial and trial transcripts, compiled over two days.

So given that the petition hit five years after the audit, a nine-month pretrial continuance agreed to by both sides, and a two day trial to sort this out, the time lag wasn’t as bad as the commentator suggests.

As my late law partner Sid (may he rest in peace) would grunt between his cigar-laden teeth when confronted with delaying tactics, “Select or settle or get out.” He meant either select a jury, settle the case, or go home.

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