In Uncategorized on 09/02/2022 at 15:31

While my journalist colleagues of the blogosphere and trade press write lengthy dissertations on tax law, I cover United States Tax Court; and therein lies all the difference. I do not write law review articles, as I was not on law review. As a practitioner, my concern was and is practice; how does the machine work, how to fix it when it breaks, and how to adapt it to off-label uses.

So today Javontea D. Jones, Docket No. 12453-22, filed 9/2/22, reopens a question I asked at least six (count ’em, six) years ago: when, and by what means or method, is the sixty George big blind waived or refunded? See my blogposts “New Sheriff In Town,” 6/7/16, and “Now I’m Really Confused,” 9/27/16. There are others, but I won’t interlard this post with them.

Javontea petitions years 2021 and 2022. Needless to say, IRS has issued neither SNOD nor NOD to Javontea. His complaint is want of stimulus: “…petitioner attached various materials from the Missouri Department of Corrections reflective of his financial status as an inmate. The statements in the amended petition centered on complaints pertaining to petitioner’s failure to receive so-called economic stimulus payments.” Order, at p. 1.

I won’t dwell on Ch J Kathleen (“TBS = The Big Shillelagh”) Kerrigan’s disquisition on the jurisdictional limits of United States Tax Court. IRS, unmoved by Javontea’s plight, moves to toss for want of jurisdiction.

Javontea’s riposte did not address jurisdiction. “…petitioner detailed challenges and hardships encountered as a result of petitioner’s incarcerated status and emphasized a request for leniency. Petitioner also highlighted financial difficulties and the importance that the stimulus payments could hold as petitioner sought to return to society.” Order, at p. 2.

So, while Ch J TBS “… is sympathetic to petitioner’s situation and understands the challenges of the circumstances faced and the good faith efforts made, the Court on the present record lacks jurisdiction in this case to review any action (or inaction) by respondent in regard to petitioner’s taxes. Congress has granted the Tax Court no authority to afford any remedy in the circumstances evidenced by this proceeding, regardless of the merits of petitioner’s complaints.” Order, at p. 3.

OK, then, right-about-face and march out Javontea. So why do I report this run-of-the-mill order?

Because back on 6/3/22, Ch J TBS ordered Javontea to ante up the sixty George big blind. Apparently he didn’t, so Ch J TBS waives the filing fee (without making reference to the 6/3/22 order), Order, at p. 3.

No showing Javontea filed The Form Without a Number (Application for Waiver of Filing Fee), with its quaint references in the instructions therefor to Adobe Acrobat 3.0, Internet Explorer, and Netscape Navigator. Might want to update the instructions, Ch J TBS; and give the form a number, like all its siblings.

So why the waiver? Was it Javontea’s piteous recitals, worthy of a latter-day Reading Gaol? Can other petitioners, similarly situated or not, with pathetic accounts of unmerited hardship, injustice, and oppression, lay bare their personal tragedies in aid of waiver, but without having to bare their finances on The Form Without a Number?

Perhaps a wee word to the petitioner with a sad tale might be in season: In your petition, tell your sad tale in extenso, but leave off the sixty Georges. And tell ’em Javontea sent ya.


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