In Uncategorized on 09/22/2020 at 16:44

I’m sure my readers remember Judge Albert G (“Schiolar Al”) Lauber’s blow-off of the Jersey Boys, when they invoked that cat-and-mouse certify-decertify Section 7345 gambit.

What, no? The see my blogpost “Ruesch to Judgment,” 6/25/20. True, the Jersey Boys, as usual, were swinging for the fences and were out on a foul pop-up behind the plate.

But I stand by what I wrote in June. There’s no limit to the number of passport-grabbing certifications IRS can send State.

And Section 7345 makes no exception for a seriously-delinquent debt where the SOL has run on collection; even when the collection remedy is gone, nothing stops IRS from a passport-grab. Of course, there’s no SOL on when the grabee can petition the grab, either; presumably, as long as the certification is in force, the grabee can petition. And there’s no one-petition-per-grab rule either.

So here’s Ivan Rivas, Docket No. 15489-18P, filed 9/22/20. Ivan petitions two (count  ’em, two) Section 7345s, covering six (count ’em, six) tax years. Judge Colvin takes up the story.

Note the chronology. “On August 3, 2018, petitioner filed a petition with this Court seeking relief from certifications dated July 18 and November 26, 2018, which stated that under section 7345(a)1petitioner was an individual owing seriously delinquent tax debt for taxable years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2009, collectively.” Order, at p. 1.

So somehow Ivan knew in August that, beside the grab in July, there was another coming in November. If Ivan could tell the future, he should’a gone to the online betting sites; he could’a played the dime Superfecta in every track in the country and won enough to pay off every debt he ever had before the bookies got wise.

Ivan petitions both, but IRS plays the Matty Dean Vigon gambit, more particularly bounded and described in my blogpost “Crafty – Akin to the Weasel,” 7/24/17.

“On February 11, 2019, respondent ‘mistakenly caused the reversal of the certification[s]’. The following week, on February 18, 2019, respondent issued a new notice of certification to petitioner informing petitioner that he was ‘an individual owing seriously delinquent tax debt for taxable years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003’ under section 7345(a). Respondent notified the Secretary of State of the new certification.” Order, at p. 1.

So Ivan is tossed for mootness as to the two certifications he petitioned. Apparently, his fortune-telling streak ended.

“The relief we are authorized to grant per section 7345(e)(2) is an order directing respondent to ‘notify the Secretary of State that such certification was erroneous.’ Because both certifications were reversed and the Secretary of State was notified of such reversals, petitioner has received all of the relief that we could grant. Ruesch v. Commissioner, 154 T.C. __, at __ (slip op. at 17). Thus, petitioners’ claims are moot.” Order, at p. 2.

So Ivan can petition the February 28, 2019 grab. And while that petition is pending, IRS can “mistakenly” withdraw that certification, and hit Ivan with a fresh one. Or Ivan can sue in USDC, where maybe a Judge has, or can find, jurisdiction to end this game.



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