In Uncategorized on 03/10/2021 at 19:12

Judge Mark V Holmes has noted numerous Chaighouls, the spillovers of the extension of Chai via Graev beyond 2 Cir “to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land.” Today Judge James S (“Big Jim”) Halpern has IRS running around its stables, trying to mix-and-match Originators, Reviewers, and Supervisors, to find the right Boss Hoss for every one of the four (count ’em, four) Section 6702 frivolity chops they laid upon Sheila Ann Smith, 2021 T. C. Memo. 29, filed 3/10/21.

Sheila is a disciple of Gwen Kestin, the fast and furious photocopier. For Gwen’s story, see my blogpost “From the Serious to the Frivolous,” 8/29/19. Sheila sent in a bunch of zero returns, clearly frivolous, and frivoled on the trial.

Sheila has so mastered Graev, that IRS, in desperation, has to come up with a table worthy of Abbott and Costello’s immortal routine. See 2021 T. C. Memo. 29, at p. 17.

Sheila started with six (count ’em, six) photocopy chops, and IRS conceded one. Another was accompanied by a letter that clearly stated it was only a copy, and IRS was not expected to act thereon, so did not purport to be a return, wherefore no chop. As to the remaining four, three survived the Boss Hoss stampede, but the last one was a true “ya can’t make this stuff up.”

Judge Big Jim: “With respect to the 2008 Form 1040 copy No. 1, Ms. I [Frivolous Return Program Coordinator] informed SO L that three individuals (Mss. H, E, and Mr. O) ‘were the department managers and direct supervisors of Ms. D’ when Ms. D signed the attendant Form 8278. SO L reasoned that the originator of the form ‘can only have one immediate manager/direct supervisor, and that therefore the * * * penalty * * * [was] valid because the Form 8278 was signed by the originator’s immediate supervisor.’ S H was the individual who signed the Form 8278 approving the penalty with respect to the 2008 Form 1040 copy No. 1. But she was one of three individuals that Ms. I described as Ms. D’s ‘immediate manager/supervisor’ when Ms. H signed the form. We accept at face value SO L’s premise that an originating employee has only one immediate supervisor. Perhaps Ms. I did not understand the question, but, on the basis of her answer, we think that the best one can conclude is that there was a one in three chance that Ms. H was Ms. D’s immediate supervisor when Ms. H signed the form. SO L abused his discretion– i.e., he did not have a sound basis in fact–in concluding that Ms. H was Ms. D’s immediate supervisor. Respondent failed to obtain the necessary section 6751(b)(1) approval of a section 6702(a) penalty with respect to the 2008 Form 1040 copy No. 1.” 2021 T. C. Memo. 29, at pp. 36-37. (Names omitted).

Sheila gets a Section 6673 delay chop because she frivoled in Tax Court.

But Taishoff says Judge Holmes was right in his concurrence in Graev: “I’m afraid we’ve bought ourselves years of procedural litigation.” 149 T. C. 23, at p. 69.


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