Attorney-at-Law

SPIRITED AWAY?

In Uncategorized on 04/26/2021 at 12:03

Steely Spirit, Inc., Docket No. 4797-20, filed 4/26/21, has failed to file Form 6, the Ownership Disclosure Statement. This news should shock no one with even a tangential connection to US Tax Court practice.

I’ve said it before, often enough. Upwards of 90% of the corporations petitioning US Tax Court don’t fill out the form at all, or get it wrong (usually leaving it blank). It makes you wonder about the decline of American business acumen, once the wonder of the world. Why is it that so many of its driving forces are incapable of checking their stock ledgers, writing the word “NONE” in two (count ’em, two) different spaces on a one-page form, and signing it. Or, if its executive officers are incapable thereof, why they don’t ask for help.

Judge Gale explains why the form is necessary. Judges do have investments. “In the absence of information concerning whether petitioner is owned by a publicly traded entity, the undersigned is unable to ascertain whether he is obligated to recuse from this case. See Canon 3C(1)(c) and Canon 3C(3)(c) of the Code of Conduct for United States Judges (Mar. 12, 2019).” Order, at p. 2, footnote 2. These are the financial stake in the outcome rules, triggers for 28USC§455 recusal. I talked about this just last Friday; see my blogpost “It’s Too Late, Baby, Now It’s Too Late – Part Deux,” 4/23/21.

The Steely Spirits were mum twice before, when Judge Gale told them to file. Showing almost fatherly forbearance, Judge Gale so orders the Steely Spirits a third time. Now he’d told them the last time he could toss them for nonprosecution. But there’s one last catch before the Steely Spirits join their much better described spirit forbears: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.”

“In view of the fact that petitioner has continued to disregard the Orders of this Court on a matter that affects the orderly disposition of this case, the Court is prepared, on its own motion, to dismiss this case for failure to properly prosecute. In that event, in view of the fact that the case involves review of a determination of unreported income, respondent may bear an initial burden to make a ‘minimal evidentiary showing’ supporting a link between petitioner and an income-producing activity. Accordingly, before dismissing this case for failure to properly prosecute, we believe it is appropriate to afford respondent an opportunity to make any proffer he wishes to make to satisfy any initial evidentiary burdens he may bear with respect to the unreported income determinations in the notice of deficiency.” Order, at p. 2. (Footnotes omitted).

I gave you the first of the omitted footnotes hereinabove. The second says that since the Steely Spirits are a corporation (wherefore incorporeal), IRS need not produce any Boss Hossery. See my blogpost “Howdy, Partner – Part Deux,” 5/7/18.

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