In Uncategorized on 10/05/2021 at 00:17

No, this is not another taxed-as-a-partnership; this is the story of eighteen (count ’em, eighteen) Forms 211 unloaded on the Ogden Sunseteers by that indefatigable former GAO auditor and Master Hunch Merchant Suzanne Jean McCrory, 2021 T. C. Memo. 116, filed 10/4/21*.

Suzanne’s been here before: see my blogposts “Remand? You Can Whistle For it,” 1/31/18; “A Guide to Whistleblowers,” 3/18/19; “Follow-Ups,” 3/9/20; and “STJ Lew Stirs the Silt,”4/24/20. There, now.

Suzanne unleashed the Forms 211 in two packages, but based both sets on a “hypothesis” and publicly available information. The OS classifier prepared an Award Recommendation Memorandum for each, citing command codes for various databases which IRS maintains. Judge Courtney D (“CD”) Jones explains the Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS), the roadmap wherewith the classifier can check out what IRS did.

If alphanumeric babble floats your boat, check out pages 5 through 7 of 2021 T. C. Memo. 116, but at day’s end, all the classifier can find is that Suzanne’s hunches were wrong, or not specific or credible, or speculative. And the classifier checked the appropriate boxes on the ARM, showing which code groups were checked to generate the result.

Notwithstanding Suzanne’s claim that the OS bounced her claims because she used public information, “(N)one of the ARMs refer to the fact that petitioner’s allegations were based on publicly available information.” 2021 T. C. Memo. 116, at p. 9.

And the Sunseteers have adopted my advice. They labeled each bounce letter “‘FINAL DECISION UNDER SECTION 7623(a)’ and informed petitioner that ‘[t]he Whistleblower Office has made a final decision to reject your claim for an award.’” 2021 T. C. Memo. 116, at p. 10. No more epistolary volleying and counter-battery fire.

Suzanne’s claim that the proper bounce for some should be Section 7623(b), because they cleared the $2 million bar, but Van Bemmelen put paid to that. If the information isn’t specific or credible, or speculative, mox nix.

Suzanne also claims that when the classifier checked out IRS databases, taxpayer information is involved, and therefore her claim was denied, not rejected. Judge Gustafson had much to say about that; see my blogpost “Rejection and Denial,” 3/16/20. But every time a classifier checks out the database does not trigger a denial. “Indeed, IRS guidance directs classifiers to use all available resources, including IDRS and other databases, to evaluate every whistleblower claim. See IRM pt. (Jan. 11, 2018).” 2021 T. C. Memo.116, at p. 22, footnote 25.

Whatever, Suzanne’s information was wrong, not credible or specific, or speculative, and the administrative record shows nothing to the contrary. And that is enough for Judge CD Jones.

I bet Suzanne takes an appeal.

McCrory 2021 T C Memo 116 10 4 21


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