Archive for December, 2020|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on 12/23/2020 at 16:01

From the IRS’ eNews for Tax Professionals 2020-52, 12/23/20:

“Stein Agee of Canton, Ga., and Corey Agee of Atlanta, Ga., pleaded guilty for their roles in a wide-ranging abusive tax scheme to defraud the IRS. According to court documents, from at least 2013 through 2019, S. Agee and C. Agee, then partners at an Atlanta accounting firm, marketed, promoted, and sold together with co-conspirators, investments in fraudulent syndicated conservation easement (SCE) tax shelters. However, the partnerships were a sham, as S. Agee, C. Agee, and their co-conspirators marketed the SCE tax shelters by promising investors that for every $1 invested in the partnership, the investor would receive more than $4 in charitable tax deductions.

“Two defendants pleaded guilty today in the first-ever criminal case by IRS-CI involving conservation easements,” said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. “It should be considered the next step in the IRS’ battle against abusive SCEs. The defendants and their co-conspirators used conservation easement donations to personally enrich themselves and allow wealthy tax clients to evade their tax obligations. The charges and guilty pleas demonstrate that participation in abusive SCEs will not be tolerated. Once again, the IRS recommends that anyone who participated in an abusive SCE consult independent counsel about coming into compliance.”

“S. Agee and C. Agee both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. They also face a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.”

According to a three-month-old Google review, purporting to be from a satisfied client, “Corey and Stein Agee are very professional and responsive to all of our needs. Their quality of work and attention to detail is unmatched!” I’ll say!



In Uncategorized on 12/18/2020 at 10:41

Ten years and ten days ago, I brought forth on this continent a new blog, conceived in the principle that judicial proceedings require public participation, and dedicated to the proposition that litigants and the public deserve equal consideration.

We are now met on the eve of a great new electronic era, where we shall test whether a blog so conceived and dedicated can long endure.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to the challenge, and, if you have technical questions, contact Tax Court Public Affairs office at (202)  521-3355, and tell ’em Taishoff sent you.


In Uncategorized on 12/18/2020 at 09:10

The floodgates open December 28, 2020. We are no longer up Dawson’s Creek (with or without paddles). DAWSON goes online. As an authority even more exalted than Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley put it, “all flesh shall see it together.”

The old system shall pass away at 1700 Eastern on December 30. I invite my readers, few in number but loud in voice, to join me in a chorus of “Auld Lang Syne.” Bring your own whiskey.

I have confirmed with the Office of Public Affairs at the locked-down Glasshouse that opinions and orders will be public knowledge on the new, improved, jim-dandy system.

For those who crave official confirmation, here it is.


In Uncategorized on 12/17/2020 at 15:31

After months of “menowderin’, and minanderin’, an’ blandandherin’ roun’ an’ about,” as a much finer writer than I put it, Our Fair State has adopted a new Short Form of Power of Attorney.

The CLE merchants are gearing up.  The internet lawyers’ chatrooms are buzzing.

And Taishoff again asks why the “short form” runs more than six (count ’em, six) pages.

But remember, guys, a power of attorney is paper or electrons. It appoints an “agent.” The agent is an individual person.


In Uncategorized on 12/16/2020 at 18:58

Unless the WordPress data system is mistaken, or that speck on my screen is dust after all, I’ve picked up a view from American Samoa, which has had neither the 1918 flu or the current COVID-19.

But it now has taishofflaw.

Come on, Bolivia, join the party!


In Uncategorized on 12/15/2020 at 14:16

I reply as set forth hereinbelow to the following statement on the United States Tax Court’s website:

“The Tax Court will be closed on Thursday, December 24, 2020.”

Mah Nishtanah?

While Tax Court remains up Dawson’s Creek, they’re closed every day.


In Uncategorized on 12/14/2020 at 15:16

Again the late Sir George Harrison’s 1963 performance echoes through the closed corridors of The Glasshouse in the Artificial City, this time through a video buried in the depths of the Tax Court website. Matroshka-like in the depths of this tour is found the disclosure that Dawson’s Creek will permit the electronic filing of petitions (and perhaps even amendments and ratifications). Rule 34 lives!

Apparently also comments on this new, improved, handy-dandy case management system were taken from practitioners, but which practitioners, and how they were selected, remains locked in the impenetrable fastnesses of the Tax Court elect, whomever they may be.

Proles like me are clearly out of it.

And designated orders are to go extinct December 28, or whenever Dawson’s Creek flows unvexed to wherever it’s going. The new régime will supposedly list the number of pages in each order; this will enable the reader to choose the important ones. If the number of pages in a document is a criterion of significance, then Fifty Shades of Grey eclipses all Four Gospels.

Finally, it seems that the current three-buck ticket to all documents for the public ends when Dawson’s Creek is revealed. One can only get them if party or attorney of record, once again slamming the doors shut on the public for whom Congress manifested such solicitude in Section 7461.


In Uncategorized on 12/10/2020 at 16:02

While Dawson’s Creek rolls like the Jordan over Tax Court, Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley nowise treats this enforced cessation of electronic publication as an excuse for sloth.

Today he and his general staff remedy the third-party document subpoena problem that judge James S (“Big Jim”) Halpern raised back in October. See my blogpost “The Blatant Subpoena,” 10/1/20.

Y’all will recall that the August 6 press release seemed to open a 14-day period for gaming Tax Court discovery rules by playing with third-party document subpoenas. Judge Big Jim dealt with this in my blogpost aforementioned, but there apparently remained enough windage for the odd blowback.

So today Ch J Mighty Mo goes the press release route.

Now I know these are all some temporary fixes during COVID-19, and will go away (supposedly) when the world is free.

But why wait until then to harmonize Tax Court Rules with the FRCP?


In Uncategorized on 12/07/2020 at 12:20

It is alleged that, three (count ’em, three) weeks from today, the floodwaters of Dawson’s Creek will subside from The Glasshouse in the Bubble, and a torrent of decisions, opinions, small-claimers, and orders will gush forth as did water from a rock struck long ago by a much more exalted personage. I expect almost as much argument will accompany this event as did its predecessor.

Meantime, what is the ‘umble blogger to do?

I cannot reasonably foresee finding enough copy to fill “the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth” of anything but blather. No reader requires blather from me; any seeking same can find it abundantly elsewhere.

So I’ll sniff the metaphorical winds each day. If there’s something worth blogging (may it happen!) I’ll do it.

If not, I’ll hold my peace.


In Uncategorized on 12/04/2020 at 12:15

Back in May, The Palmolives (Palmolive Building Investors, LLC, DK Palmolive Building Investors Participants, LLC, Tax Matters Partner, Docket No. 23444-14, filed 5/27/20) stiped out. The Palmolives gave up the $33 million façade easement, got to keep the basis split among façade, retail and condos (which is good news for us lawyers who represent condo developers), and walked on the chops.

OK, so this is old news. And I’d made an unspoken resolve not to chew my cabbage twicet while Dawson’s Creek submerged The Glasshouse that Vic Built.

Y’all will recollect I gave the Palmolives’ trusty attorneys a Taishoff “good try, hors classe” in my blogpost “Judge on a Tear,” 6/7/19. And while I didn’t say so then, I fully expected a trip to 7 Cir, even though The Palmolives’ try for a Section 7482 interlocutory appeal had already cratered (see my blogpost “What’s It Worth?” 11/14/17).

After all, there followed five (count ’em, five) stipulations of fact with exhibits, and four (count ’em, four) volumes of trial transcript through this past January. Check out the docket search.*

After all that, why fold without getting a decision and taking the appeal? The trial was paid for. Bar the interest and the legal fees and disbursements, it couldn’t get worse.

Maybe the retirement of Judge Posner, 7 Cir’s true original and a primordial judicial rebel, in September 2017 is the answer. His famous statement on his retirement sums up why dictionary chaws and slavish adherence are so much flubdubbery: “I pay very little attention to legal rules, statutes, constitutional provisions. A case is just a dispute. The first thing you do is ask yourself—forget about the law—what is a sensible resolution of this dispute? The next thing was to see if a recent Supreme Court precedent or some other legal obstacle stood in the way of ruling in favor of that sensible resolution. And the answer is that’s actually rarely the case. When you have a Supreme Court case or something similar, they’re often extremely easy to get around.”

Ya gotta love the dude, whether or not you agree with him. And that would have been an opinion I would have loved to blog.

Edited to add, 9/8/21: Of course the Genius Baristas sealed the stip-out, even though it had been online for all to see under the previous system.

*Docket Search Palmolive