In Uncategorized on 10/30/2020 at 16:24

Or the Electrons

Judge Gale has a designated hitter that makes my day. Laura B. Walker, Docket No. 3136-20S, filed 10/30/20, is regrettably unable to manage her own affairs, but I am grateful to her for the vindication of my long-standing campaign for recognition that a power of attorney is a piece of paper or a concatenation of electrons. It follows therefrom that the human being who is appointed by said paper or electrons is either a Representative (see Form 2848) or an agent (see, e.g., See 20 Pa. Stat. and Cons. Stat. Ann. secs. 5601.1, 5604(a) (Westlaw through 2020 Reg. Sess. Act 79)).

Laura B., prior to becoming so unable, appointed Kimberly Walker Fuller as her agent. Judge Gale elucidates.

“The Petition in this case was filed by Ms. Fuller, acting as petitioner’s agent, to seek redetermination of a deficiency determined for petitioner’s … taxable year. Attached to the Petition is a copy of a power of attorney authorizing Ms. Fuller to act as petitioner’s agent for a variety of purposes, including ‘[t]o pursue claims and litigation’ and ‘[t]o pursue tax matters’. The power of attorney also provides that it ‘shall not be affected by * * * [petitioner’s] subsequent disability or incapacity’, and that it is governed by Pennsylvania law.” Order, at pp. 1-2.

Here in NY we have something like this, but check your local laws for correct forms and nomenclature; as always, YMMV. BTW, an amendment to our statute has passed the Legislature, but somehow has failed of delivery to the Governor for signature. Given our State’s Byzantine legislative process, I’m not surprised.

Howbeit, IRS wants Judge Gale to extend Next Friendship to Kimberly. Judge Gale does a boot-scoot through Pa. Stat. and Cons State Ann., finding that the Penn’s Woods Commonwealth allows Kimberly to “‘…protest and litigate tax assessments’, ‘claim, sue for and collect tax refunds’, and ‘waive rights and sign all documents required to settle, pay, and determine tax liabilities’.” Order, at p. 2.

So Kimberly, formerly agent, is now next friend. But never Power of Attorney.

How’s that for a question on the next Tax Court admission exam? Under what circumstances can a State form of Power of Attorney authorize a non-admitted person to appear in Tax Court for another?


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