In Uncategorized on 03/21/2023 at 17:40

Judge Albert G (“Scholar Al”) Lauber has mastered many puzzles. Expert witnesses and the wrinkly skin of tax law hold no peril for Judge Scholar Al. But today he outdoes himself. He deconstructs that terror of the self-reporting, the infamous Social Security Benefits Worksheet—Lines 6a and 6b.

Charles Lin and Amy Lin, T. C. Memo. 2023-37, filed 3/21/23, didn’t bother reporting any taxable social security benefits. Along with blowing off their real estate losses (claimed taxes and depreciation on entire building without providing any allocation to rented space), Judge Scholar Al does both a number and the numbers on Charles’ and Amy’s social security, parsing each subsection of Section 86 to provide chapter and verse for each calculation.

Judge Scholar Al nimbly hopscotches through such twice-tangled locutions as “Section 86(a)(1) generally provides that, for any taxpayer described in subsection (b), gross income includes Social Security benefits in an amount equal to the lesser of (A) one-half of the Social Security benefits received or (B) one-half of the excess described in subsection  (b)(1).” T. C. Memo. 2023-37, at p. 7.

Judge Scholar Al’s calculations and explanations are found at pp. 7-9. Every practitioner ought to have this in the toolkit in case the software crashes.


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