Attorney-at-Law

YOU’VE GOT TO BE MORE SPECIFIC – REDIVIVUS

In Uncategorized on 09/29/2020 at 14:18

Even though they were late with their return one year, and delinquent for two other years, Judge Goeke and IRS find a happy ending for Interventional Center for Pain Management, P.C., 4966-18L, filed 9/29/20. The interventionists were back for the two-year checkup on their PPIA (Partial Payment Installment Agreement), when IRS filed a NFTL.

Judge Goeke ran a bench trial back on 11/28/18, which I didn’t blog but here it is anyway. And now Judge Goeke takes up the tale.

“After a trial, the Court issued a bench opinion determining that the best course was for the parties to attempt to negotiate a full payment installment agreement (FP IA), the Court ordered a remand of the case to IRS’ Appeals Office. In the bench opinion, the Court recognized that neither party had been focused on the fundamental issue in attempting to reach a settlement that provided for the full payment of the tax liability while also not having a tax lien on file which impeded the operation of petitioner’s business. We said as follows in the bench opinion: ‘We believe that a lien  filing was premature, but we believe that it would have been appropriate for the settlement or appeals officer to negotiate with the petitioner on the basis that petitioner should agree to a full pay agreement or that the lien filing was necessary based upon a two year review to ensure that respondent was protected in the event that the tax liability was not fully paid. Given the fact that there was never any discussion of this point, which is fundamental to both parties’ positions, we believe this case should be remanded to the appeals division with very specific instructions.’

“In the bench opinion we recognized respondent’s legitimate need to have a lien on file if a full payment installment agreement (FP IA) was not achieved.” Order, at p. 2.

Judge Goeke is almost as obliging as Judge David Gustafson. He’ll teach you how to argue your CDP and try your case.

But the two-year checkup revealed that the interventionists had better than $250K in a money market, and the SO wanted the interventionists to ante up; the interventionists answered they needed the cash for payroll and vendors. And the interventionists’ line of credit would soon be paid off, so they could throw in another $3K per month. The interventionists said “no,” but made no counteroffer.

“After a remand order by this Court, petitioner ultimately succeeded in getting the NFTL withdrawn, but only after agreeing to an FP IA of $13,103.07, 135% greater than its prior PP IA. Respondent maintains this amount is more than the revenue officer would have accepted before this matter first went to appeals. Such assertion is disputed but it is clear petitioner never offered such a monthly payment to the revenue officer.” Order, at p. 4.

Now the interventionists want Section 7430 legals and admins. My kind’a guys; go for it on fourth and 35 (football is back!).

Judge Goeke isn’t giving them that.

“… petitioner’s argument for attorney’s fees is based upon an unstated premise that respondent bore the burden of initiating an offer to resolve this matter short of litigation. If petitioner sought a resolution prior to trial in good faith, we would have expected petitioner to be definite in its offer of payment. Petitioner was not until specifically instructed as to how to proceed upon remand in the Court’s bench opinion. Given the lack of a definite offer of full payment by petitioner prior to the case coming to trial, we cannot say the Appeals Officer lacked substantial justification in allowing the lien to remain as filed.” Order, at p. 4. The 7430 motion craters.

But here’s the happy ending.

“The resolution of this motion allows us to enter a decision in this case, because the parties have reached a resolution which allows a withdrawal of the Federal tax lien as reflected in the Supplemental Notice of Determination Concerning Collection Action….” Order, at pp. 4-5.

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