In Uncategorized on 07/13/2022 at 18:03

A lawyer’s won-lost record doesn’t tell the whole story. A lawyer may be at the top of the league, but gets the toughest cases, so he has a lot of losses. But those are the cases no one could win. The Great Chieftain of the Jersey Boys definitely qualifies. By way of illustration of the foregoing, as my expensive colleagues would say, here’s Thomas E. Kelly, T. C. Memo. 2022-71, filed 7/13/22.

Tom was a character out of a Michael Lewis tell-all, a Wall Street broker with three years’ worth of million-dollar earnings, but no returns filed until long after due dates, showing liabilities north of $2.9 million. IRS gave Tom both a NFTL and a NITL. Tom wants a CDP, but COVID stalled the process.

Tom wanted “first-time abatement” of the late filing, late paying, and no estimateds add-ons, but he’d got that for the year immediately preceding the first of the years at issue.

Tom claimed reasonable cause for nonfiling, nonpaying, etc. ” He alleged that his wife…had been spending lavishly on luxury goods, causing marital and financial problems. He stated that in [last of years at issue] his wife filed for divorce, necessitating that he pay an ‘exorbitant’ amount of money on legal fees and spousal support. These events, petitioner said, caused ‘financial hardship, emotional problems, and depression.’ SO2 rejected his request for abatement on this ground, noting his history of nonfiling, his ‘consistent high income,’ and his ‘lack of payment protocol.’” T. C. Memo. 2022-71, at p. 3. (Name omitted; SO2 is a Settlement Officer, not a gas).

Tom claims the NFTL would make FINRA tag his broker’s license, making it hard for him to earn the money he needs to pay. That fails for want of substantiation.

Tom claims the NFTL was late-filed, but IRS has the proof.

Tom wants a PPIA, but all that does is cause his present taxes to remain unpaid while he pays his past due taxes.

However, his reasonable cause defense, though shaky, may survive for trial, as his adroit counsel gets Judge Albert G (“Scholar Al”) Lauber to give Tom the benefit of every favorable inference. Unless the case settles, of course (nudge nudge, wink wink).

Frantic Frankie gets the tough ones. And maybe even gets a partial win.


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