In Uncategorized on 01/18/2022 at 15:53

What have Erin M. Collins, NTA, and Francisa Fontanez, Docket No. 10154-21, filed 1/18/21, in common? Erin M. is the National Taxpayer Advocate, whose Purple Book, issued 1/14/21, mentions the issue that beset Francisa, whose untimely petition from a SNOD touches upon an issue that Erin M. also finds compelling.

Telling Francisa’s tale is Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley. Francisa is three (count ’em, three) weeks late with her petition. IRS shows up with dated SNOD and PS3877 showing last known address same as on petition, seeks and gets summary J tossing Francisa.

But Francisa wanted something else., and thereby hangs the cliché.

“Petitioner’s Objection does not deny the jurisdictional allegations set forth in respondent’s Motion to Dismiss; rather, the Objection is generally directed toward requesting that the Court send petitioner a tax refund or stimulus payment to which she believes she is entitled.” Order, at p. 3.

Now of course pore l’il ole Tax Court has no jurisdiction over refunds, and stimuli are a far remove from The Glasshouse That Vic Built.

But I’ll let Erin M., whose role in preparing Purple Book I have named the Annual Weep, the equivalent of Niobe, or Rachel getting the Jeremiah 31:15 treatment, tell her story.

“Under current law, taxpayers who owe tax and wish to litigate a dispute with the IRS must go to the U.S. Tax Court, while taxpayers who have paid their tax and are seeking a refund must file suit in a U.S. district court or the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Although this dichotomy between deficiency cases and refund cases has existed for decades, we recommend Congress give all taxpayers the option to litigate their tax disputes in the U.S. Tax Court. Due to the tax expertise of its judges, the Tax Court is often better equipped to consider tax controversies than other courts. It is also more accessible to less knowledgeable and unrepresented taxpayers than other courts because it uses informal procedures, particularly in certain disputes that do not exceed $50,000 for one tax year or period.” Purple Book, 2021, Introduction at p. vii.

My colleague Peter Reilly, CPA, picked up on this, and we completely agree.

Moreover, were only a refund and not a deficiency or other collection matter at issue, I submit there is no need for the 90-day cutoff; there is no automatic stay on collection, as there is with a petition from a Section 6213 SNOD or a Section 6330 levy CDP. Myers equitable tolling should be in play.


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