In Uncategorized on 01/06/2023 at 13:46

While I’ve often intoned the truism that “lawyers can’t add,” because, I suppose, if they could add they’d be CPAs like my colleague Mr Peter Reilly, there are judges who can add. I’ve chronicled those as they’ve picked and nitpicked their way through attorney solecism, error, and sloppiness.

But that’s not to say that even those jurists whose arithmetical skills are professional grade enjoy it.

Judge Elizabeth A. (“Tex”) Copeland, no slouch with a column figures (hi, Judge Holmes), eschews doing the numbers for Harbinder S. Brar & Barbara P. Brar, Docket No. 21908-19, filed 1/6/23.

Harb & Barb have stiped out their officers’ comp numbers with IRS, so their passthrough Sub S profits are reduced, which they claim is a wash. They’d like partial summary J on that point. While that clearly falls well short of “such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said that there was no man [or woman] in the scientific press capable of criticizing it,” Judge Tex Copeland won’t go there, giving Harb & Barb (and us as well) a lecture on why we have Rule 155 beancounts.

“At this point, there are a multitude of additional adjustments at issue that remain to be decided and will affect the tax computations.  While it seems obvious that the increased wage income and the corresponding reduction in pass-through income that resulted will directly offset, it is better left for conclusion of the case when Rule 155 computations are submitted to the Court. It is both premature and wasteful of judicial resources to have hearings over the calculation of the tax impact of each individual adjustment to income, when many times adjustments are interrelated. For the foregoing reasons, we will deny Petitioners’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, as supplemented and as modified by the parties settlement of issues. Petitioners will be afforded full opportunity to renew any computational objections at the conclusion of this matter under the parameters set forth in Rule 155.” Order, at p. 2.

In short, “…the Court is tasked with finding facts and making conclusions of law, not with calculating taxes as Petitioners’ Motion desires.” Order, at p. 2.

She doesn’t do numbers and she doesn’t fill out returns.


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