Attorney-at-Law

DON’T SETTLE, LOSE YOUR “S”

In Uncategorized on 06/24/2021 at 14:44

To get the picture here, see my blogpost “Old-Time Head-Banging – Part Deux” 9/4/20. To save your time, here’s what I said: “When I was a young man (and had, contrary to the late great Pete Seeger, been kissed), there were old-school judges, men (sorry ladies, this was in the Bad Old Days) who dragged into chambers and robing rooms recalcitrant litigants and badgered settlements out of them.

“We called it ‘banging heads.’”

Today STJ Peter (“HB”) Panuthos follows up on the story told in my blogpost hereinabove particularly bounded and described, with Peter Brancovich Turek, Docket No. 15447-19S, filed 6/24/21. Although pro se, PB is “highly educated (Dr. Turek is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst)”. Order, at p. 4.

PB, refusing STJ Panuthos’ suggestion that he settle with IRS, ripostes with a “Motion to Concede Deficit Assessment”. Order, at p. 2. Problem is, IRS wants to raise the deficiency for the second of the two (count ’em, two) years at issue, and PB isn’t buying.

So IRS moves out of time to amend the answer to assert an increased deficiency. STJ Panuthos goes through the Rule 41 foxtrot, continuing the trial so that PB has time to deal with the amended answer, and grants the motion to amend the answer.

“In his motion for leave respondent indicates that the bases for seeking an increased deficiency were not evident at the time of filing his answer. Respondent also asserts that there is a voluminous administrative file, available only in paper and that shortly after March 13, 2020, it was no longer available because of the closure of offices due to COVID-19. Finally, respondent asserts that the files did not become available until about July 13, 2020, when restrictions were eased allowing access to the documents and opportunity for review and analysis.” Order, at p. 4.

Since PB knew that the higher deficiency was in the cards for some time, he isn’t ambushed. And STJ Panuthos allows for further discovery on the increased deficiency, so the parties can talk.

Translated from Judgespeak, that means “PB, settle this case. Please settle this case.”

And to move matters along, STJ HB Panuthos kicks PB’s S.

“As noted above, petitioner elected, and the Court granted, small tax case status. The deficiencies and penalties determined in the notice of deficiency for each of the tax years [X] and [Y] did not exceed $50,000 and thus this case qualified for small tax case procedures. See sec. 7463(a); Rules 170-174. Considering the claim made by respondent in his First Amendment to Answer, the deficiency and penalty in issue for [Y] exceed $50,000. It is thus clear that this case no longer qualifies for small tax case status. Sec. 7463(d)…. Accordingly, the Court will strike the ‘S’ designation from the docket in this case and this matter will be proceed on the regular docket of the Court.” Order, at p. 5. (Citation and dates omitted).

Now that’s what I call old-time head-banging.

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