Attorney-at-Law

STARVATION HURTS

In Uncategorized on 03/15/2022 at 15:59

I will say again that this is a non-political blog. If you want vitriol and self-righteousness, you’re on the wrong page. But we see today what happens when Congress gets it wrong: when Congress starves the IRS, it isn’t the IRS that is hurt, it is the honest taxpayers.

Here’s Thomas Rhea Hamilton and Edith Marie Palmer Hamilton, T. C. Memo. 2022-21, filed 3/15/22. Judge Patrick J (“Scholar Pat”) Urda has to deal with a SO who just wants to get rid of a burdensome file.

Tom was a lawyer and Edith Marie a chaplain with a ne’er-do-well bookkeeper who didn’t keep books or records, or file stuff. Thus Tom and Edith Marie were in the hole $70K for the year at issue, inclusive of add-ons and interest. They filed late, didn’t pay, IRS assessed self-reporteds and gave Tom and Edith Marie a NFTL. Tom and Edith Marie asked for a CDP.

The SO asked for bushelbasketsful of paper. Tom and Edith Marie brought in Patricia Tokar Canton, CPA, who did a praiseworthy rescue job, faxing documents at a furious rate. The SO did not “…do any work on the case between October 1, 2018, when she spent an hour and a half reviewing the file and drafting the initial letters, and November 15, 2018, when she spent an hour preparing for the hearing scheduled for that day.” T. C. Memo. 2022-21, at p. 4.

You know the rest. The SO claims she never got what she got, and closes the case with a NOD confirming. Scholar Pat unpacks this. IRS wants a motion in limine to rule out Tom’s and Edith Marie’s testimony; record rule, y’know. But Judge Scholar Pat denies that. And the admin record only has a fax transmittal from Patricia Tokar Canton, CPA, sending eleven (count ’em, eleven) pages, but none of them are in the admin record, T. C. Memo. 2022-21, at p. 8.

IRS should have folded.

Tom and Edith Marie played fair and tried. Patricia Tokar Canton, CPA, was throwing paper with the best. This wasn’t the run-of-the-rejection-mill case where the nontaxpayer sends in nothing and waltzes around.

Remanded.

OK, the SO abused her discretion. And Judge Scholar Pat has made it clear that Tom and Edith Marie should get a proper review, rather than a breeze-through-the-file the night before.

But Tom and Edith Marie spent money, and time, and effort. Patricia Tokar Canton, CPA, may offer all the “friendly, professional service” her Facebook page says and then some (earning thereby a Taishoff “Good Job, First Class”), but I doubt she did it for free. Yes, maybe Tom and Edith Marie’ll finally get the fair shake they should have gotten three (count ’em, three) years ago.

I don’t know if that SO is still around. In any event, she won’t be getting the remand. So she won’t have to go through all those papers; in the end, she got them off her desk without having to look at them.

And before my readers cry out with one voice “But what makes you think more money for IRS would cure a lazy person?” I can only say that Patricia Tokar Canton, CPA, is willing to work hard for proper compensation. Maybe for the right price IRS might find someone like her. If they had the right price.

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