In Uncategorized on 12/05/2022 at 18:56

Judge Elizabeth Crewson Paris’ Tax Court biography says she is the author of numerous “agriculture articles and chapters.” So she clearly has the expertise to assess the story of Steven F. Hoakison and Judy C. Hoakison, T. C. Memo. 2022-117, filed 12/5/22. Steve graduated high school and started farming; while his farm was nearly foreclosed, he got a job delivering for UPS, working 12-hour days. But Steve kept farming, working before dawn and after sundown, and not missing a UPS shift, even after triple bypass surgery. Steve and Miss Judy sound like they could pose for Grant Woods’ immortal painting.

Steve had a bunch old tractors (hi, Judge Holmes), which IRS claims are collectors’ items, but Steve shows photos of his haybale stabber and similar accoutrements, which render the tractors working class if not professional grade. And Steve could buy them for four figures and fix them his own self under the shade tree at the Home Place, the propane heated, unair-conditioned, 100 year old farmhouse, where he and Miss Judy lived for their forty five (count ’em, forty five) years of happy marriage, paying cash for everything.

Steve did double-dip a couple of items, which he expensed per Section 179 and then tried to depreciate per Section 167. And Steve’s 1999 Dodge Durango is too much like a passenger car, even with mud tires, so Section 274 shuts Steve down.

There’s a bunch of concessions, and much Cohanic horsetrading and shoehorning, but Steve comes out pretty well.

These guys are what made America great.

And their preparer of thirty years’ standing saves Steve and Miss Judy from all the chops save those for the double-dip depreciation. While the Boss Hossery is only a sign-off on the Form 4549, it does the trick.

“Examining the facts in this case, the Court finds that Mr. [trusty preparer] was a competent tax adviser with sufficient expertise to justify petitioners’ reliance. Mr. [trusty preparer] held a master’s degree in agricultural education and had decades of experience assisting farmers with economic and financial matters, including preparing income tax returns for farmers since 1981. He had met Mr. Hoakison nearly 50 years earlier and had prepared petitioners’ returns for nearly 30 years.  He was familiar with petitioners’ personal and business affairs through his long relationship with them and provided detailed instruction on what information they would need to collect for their tax returns each year. Nothing in the record indicates that petitioners had any reason to doubt his competence to provide the advice they sought.” T. C. Memo. 2022-117, at pp. 38-39.

And trusty preparer taught Miss Judy how to keep the books. She gave trusty preparer everything he asked for, and, except for the double-dip, they were justified in relying on him.

I give Steve’s and Miss Judy’s trusty attorney, James R. (“Good Feeling”) Monroe, Esq., a Taishoff “Good Job.” He told a real good story. Go and do thou likewise.


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