In Uncategorized on 01/30/2023 at 16:39

Three weeks ago, a reader asked why IRS hadn’t considered a passive activity attack on Paul and Pat Wondries, whose highly-skilled manager ran their cattle ranch with hardly a word from his bosses; see my blogpost “Good Help Hard to Find,” 1/9/23. Professional management was the key to sustaining Paul’s and Pat’s business deductions.

IRS fails to raise the Section 183 hobby loss defense effectively in Mathew Daniel Craddock and Chasta Crenshaw Craddock, T. C. Sum. Op. 2023-4, filed 1/30/23.

STJ Adam B. (“Sport”) Landy tells the tale in a footnote.

“In his Pretrial Memorandum… respondent asserted that petitioners were not engaged in a trade or business with the intent to generate a profit during the year in issue, and therefore the deductions claimed relating to Mr. Craddock’s consulting activities should be limited to the amount of gross receipts reported on the return under section 183. Although this issue was raised during the examination, it was not incorporated into the notice of deficiency mailed to petitioners, and respondent failed to raise this issue in his Answer. … respondent filed a Status Report apprising the Court that he is unable to determine why the issue was not included in the notice of deficiency, and he, therefore, conceded the issue. At trial, respondent confirmed his concession.” T. C. Sum. Op. 2023-4, at p. 2, footnote 2.

IRS had four (count ’em, four) attorneys on this small-claimer, with a $4K deficiency after Mat’s $31K in business deductions go down for want of documentation. Mat’s log for his Ford F-150 does account for every mile, but doesn’t distinguish between business and personal; it shows him simultaneously in two States on the same day; and his bank statements, supposedly corroborative, confirm Mat was buying fuel in one State while simultaneously present in another. T. C. Sum. Op. 2023-4, at pp. 6-8. The remaining $14K of deductions fare no better.

So in this case, IRS’ omission of hobby loss was no loss.

Takeaway- The SNOD is IRS’ case. What it leaves out is as important as what is put in.


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