Attorney-at-Law

TOLLING THE SILT

In Uncategorized on 09/30/2020 at 16:51

Judge Mark V Holmes may have been relegated to senior status, but his famous remark about today’s silt-stirring muddying tomorrow’s water remains. And the current silt-stir was stirred up by DC Cir in Myers; if you don’t remember Myers, see my blogpost “For Whom the Equitable Tolls,” 4/10/20.

George Jerome Stevenson, 2020 T. C. Memo. 137, filed 9/30/20, hasn’t got much of a case. George J is complaining that “… a target taxpayer, an individual, had failed to give him and ask that he fill out a Form W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification. Petitioner did not explain why this was problematic and did not allege that the target had underpaid tax or had violated any internal revenue law. Petitioner attached to his Form 211 a one-page description of a publicly traded international bond fund. He did not allege any underpayment of tax or tax violation by the fund or its principals.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 137, at p. 2.

The Ogden Sunseteers, perhaps chastened by Lacey, sent George J’s bœuf to a SB/SE classifier, who checked out target, and found all returns filed and all taxes paid. Wherefore he suggested tossing George J.

The OS duly tossed, and George J petitioned.

So why does this rate a T. C. Memo., and why am I writing about it? Judge Albert G (“Scholar Al”) will tell you.

“He signed and dated the petition May 2, 2019, but the envelope in which it was delivered to the Court does not bear a postmark. The Court received and filed the petition on May 13, 2019.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 137, at p. 4. Note that the toss was dated April 10, and the magic SOL for Section 7623s is 30 days.

IRS moves for summary J, despite some very confusing language in Van Bemmelen that summary J is not appropriate where the administrative record tells the whole story, but maybe it is. See 2020 T. C. Memo. 137, at pp. 5-6, and re-read Van Bemmelen; I ducked this when I blogged the case (see my blogpost “Administering Supplements,” 8/27/20), because I didn’t understand it, and IRS got summary J in that case anyway. And (spoiler alert) they get summary J here, too.

Judge Scholar Al invokes equitable tolling sua sponte. IRS never mentioned SOL. George J never responded to IRS’ summary J motion, and so would lose off the bat, but for Judge Scholar Al’s well-developed sense of fair play. If George J was a couple days (hi, Judge Holmes) late posting the petition, he gets equitably tolled.

But of course George J. craters anyway.

“The administrative record shows that the Office properly rejected petitioner’s claim because he did not provide any credible information regarding a Federal tax violation. The Office based its decision on a recommendation from Mr. M., a classifier in SB/SE. He investigated petitioner’s claim by retrieving and analyzing the target taxpayer’s tax filings and IRS account transcripts. He determined that petitioner’s allegations lacked credibility because petitioner did not identify a particular tax year, did not identify a discernible Federal tax issue, and did not supply any source documents.” 137 T. C. Memo. 137, at p. 8. (Name omitted).

Summary J for IRS.

 

 

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