In Uncategorized on 09/03/2020 at 12:41

My esteemed colleague and delightful luncheon companion (whom this pandemic prevents me from joining for lunch in his hometown), Peter Reilly, CPA, has suggested that my blogposts have become too elliptical. A schoolmate of his (and presumably of Judge Albert G (“Scholar Al”) Lauber) said my blogposts used too many obscure terms.

I reminded Mr Reilly of my blogpost “Maybe Not So Obvious – Part Deux,” 1/22/15, but that’s now so long ago that a refresher is called for.

As I said back then, no readers need play guessing-games here; Tax Court and tax law are sufficiently obscure.

So here’s a brief glossary of terms and abbreviations, with more to follow if time (and reader interest) permits. And if some items are really obvious, I nevertheless include them because, as G. M. Fraser once remarked, “someone, somewhere, is sure to clamor for enlightenment if I don’t.”

Appeals – Internal Revenue Service Independent Office of Appeals. See

CAP – Collection Appeal Process. Like a CDP (see below), but no Tax Court review.

CDP – Collection Due Process hearing. See 26USC§6320 and 26USC§6330.

CFR – Code of Federal Regulations. All the published regulations of Federal Administrative Agencies. Available online from

Ch J – Chief Judge

Chops – Penalties, e.g., Sections 6662s, 6663, 6694.

CPA – Certified Public Accountant. For my non-US readers, the equivalent of a Chartered Accountant.

CSTJ – Chief Special Trial Judge. Section 7443A.

Designated Hitter – A Tax Court designated order. For more details, see

EA – Enrolled Agent. See 31CFR§10.4.

EE – Employee.

“Elevenses” – United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

FRCP – Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Available online from

FRE – Federal Rules of Evidence. Available online from

Glasshouse – United States Tax Court courthouse, 400 Second Street, NW, Washington DC 20217

Glasshouse Gang – Those stationed at The Glasshouse

IC – Independent contractor.

NFTL – Notice of Federal Tax Lien.

NITL – Notice of Intent to Levy.

NOD – Notice of Determination. Usually from Appeals after a CDP or equivalent hearing, but can come from Whistleblower Office (the “Ogden Sunseteers”) determining a whistleblower claim. Sometimes also from revocation of 501(c)(3) status, worker classification, or disqualification of retirement or deferred compensation plans.

Off-the-bencher – A Tax Court opinion rendered from the bench after hearing. See 26USC§7459(b). The transcript of the Judge’s oral remarks is the opinion (or order and decision).

Ogden Sunseteers or OS – Personnel of the IRS Whistleblower office, located in Ogden, UT, who deny applications and  watch the sunset.

Partitive Genitive – A syntactical form carried over from Latin, where one shows an object as a part of a greater whole, as in “a cup of coffee”, “a couple of rounds of briefing”, etc. Much derided by His Honor Judge Mark V. Holmes

Reg – Regulation. Usually Treasury Regulation. See CFR above.

Reg. Section – Specific provision of CFR.

Rounder – A frequent Tax Court litigant. May or may not be found by the Court to make protester or frivolous arguments. IRS periodically publishes notices setting forth what it defines as frivolous arguments. Seer wits, wags and wiseacres, infra.

RTRP – Registered Tax Return Preparer. One who qualified under the now-extinct Shulman-Williams registration regime, abolished by Loving v IRS, No. 13-5601, USCADC.

Section – The Internal Revenue Code, Article 26 United States Code.

“Small Court” – United States Tax Court, but may be used for inferior courts created by Congress under US Constitution, Art. 1, s. 8.

SNOD – The Statutory Notice of Deficiency, also known as the “ninety-day letter” or “ticket to Tax Court”.

SOL – Statute of Limitations. There is none for nonfiling or fraud. For others, there are three-year and six-year SOLs, which I abbreviate 3SOL and 6SOL.

State Abbreviations – I use the United States Postal Service version, e.g., CA for California, AZ for Arizona.

STJ – Special Trial Judge. Section 7443A.

Summary J – Summary judgment. Judgment on the law without need for a trial, as no material facts are disputed. See FRCP§56 and Tax Court Rule 121. There is a précis on the Tax Court website: “What is a motion for summary judgment? How should I respond to one?”

TAS – Taxpayer Advocate Service. See

The Hill Far Above – Location of Cornell University Law School.

The Supremes – United States Supreme Court. Sometimes also USSC.

USCA – United States Circuit Court of Appeals.

USCFC – United States Court of Federal Claims.

USDC – United States District Court. Usually followed by State (or District or Commonwealth or Territory) designation, and geographical designation, if any, i.e., E (Eastern), W (Western), N (Northern), S (Southern), or M (Middle). Thus, I’d write United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee as USDCMDTN, and United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island as USDCDRI.

USCAFC – United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

UPS – United Parcel Service.

USPS – United States Postal Service

Wits, wags and wiseacres – Aspirants to, or candidates for, Rounder status, but not yet elevated thereto.

I award various titles to litigants for their maneuvers on a purely arbitrary basis. Examples are Taishoff “Good try” of various classes, Taishoff “Good job” for winners,  and Taishoff “Oh Please,” the last for extremely feeble arguments and maneuvers.

I introduce editorial comments with “Taishoff says.”

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