Attorney-at-Law

WHAT YOU DO KNOW

In Uncategorized on 02/03/2022 at 17:00

The old saw “what you don’t know can’t hurt you” may or may not be true, but the contrapositive sinks Ana Margarita Fiengo, Petitioner, and Pascual E. Fiengo, Sr., Intervenor, Docket No. 1250-20, filed 2/3/22. Judge Christian N. (“Speedy”) Weiler comes off the bench to show, once again, that knowledge of unpaid taxes is fatal to innocent spousery.

Pascual was Mr Outside, but Ana Margarita was Ms Inside, in the family business. ” Intervenor acted as the tradesman and performed the actual labor for the business, while petitioner did paperwork for the business and performed other administrative duties.” Transcript, at p. 5.

The underpayments of tax came primarily from the business. Ana Margarita “was responsible for both the personal and business finances of both petitioner and intervenor from 1984 through 2018.” Transcript, at p. 5. Ana Margarita wrote the checks and kept the books.

Ana Margarita and Pascual called it quits in 2018. The final judgment of divorce said nothing about who pays taxes.

Since only equity is available when underpayment, rather than underreporting, is in play, the Section 6015(f) laundry list gets a walkthrough.

Ana Margarita was in post-divorce compliance, so that helps. But she has no hardship evidence. Her abuse claim “… did, however, allege… that her relationship with intervenor was one of ‘intimidation and control, a form of abuse’. While the Court takes allegations of abuse seriously, the record does not support a finding that intervenor abused petitioner, nor did any alleged abuse prevent petitioner from complying with Federal tax laws.” Transcript, at pp. 113-14.

And while facts and circumstances (cue Sir Eddy Elgar) override a mere arithmetical tally of factors, here’s Judge Speedy’s concise bottom line.

“In evaluating the relevant factors, we conclude that the knowledge factor weighs heavily against relief for petitioner.” Transcript, at p. 14.

What you do know can hurt your innocent spousery. Fatally.

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