Attorney-at-Law

STRETCHING A POINT

In Uncategorized on 09/23/2020 at 18:45

Or Two

Or maybe three, but Judge Elizabeth A (“Tex”) Copeland feels that Beverly Robinson, 2020 T. C. Memo. 134, filed 9/23/20, deserves innocent spousery after her nogoodnik ex-husband welshed on the tax debt, carried on with another lady, and generally comported himself on the stand with less than candor.

Bev was a high school graduate and machine operator for a big lumber company. She knew nothing of taxes or finances. But she never claimed abuse or financial hardship on her Form 8857, or at trial.

Bev did sign and file the fictitious name form for ex’s business with FL Dep’t of State in her name, but he was on the day shift at their former employer, so only Bev could sign it. She also claimed being the boss so she could sign it. She also claimed being employed by ex’s business to “embellish” her resumé when looking for work. She was a signatory on ex-spouse’s business account but signed no checks.

And “(P)etitioner also failed to make a good faith effort to comply with the Federal income tax laws. In her Form 8857 signed days after her 2014 return was due, petitioner indicated that she knew she had an obligation to file a tax return; nevertheless she believed that it would be unfair if an overpayment from her 2014 tax year was applied against the 2010 tax liability. From this it is clear that petitioner intentionally failed to timely file her 2014 return and therefore did not make a good faith effort to comply.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 134, at p. 35.

I’ve seen innocent spouse applications bounced on that ground alone.

But Judge “Tex” Copeland cuts Bev some slack.

“On the basis of the foregoing facts and circumstances, we hold that the equities weigh in petitioner’s favor. The factors that weigh in favor of relief are marital status, knowledge, and lack of significant benefit. The factor that weighs against relief is compliance with Federal income tax laws. The remaining factors are neutral. Our decision whether relief is appropriate is not based on a simple tally of those factors. Instead the weight given to each factor is based on the requesting spouse’s facts and circumstances. As a result, when we weigh petitioner’s facts and circumstances, we hold she is entitled to relief from joint and several liability under section 6015(f) for tax year 2010.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 134, at p. 37. (Citations omitted).

And a Taishoff “Good Job, First Class,” to Bev’s trusty attorney James R. (“Good Feelings”) Monroe, Esq., whose great namesake should be a model for these times.

 

 

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