In Uncategorized on 04/17/2023 at 15:54

Notwithstanding the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s dismissive characterization of Tax Court as the equivalent of a village traffic court at a long-ago Tax Court Judicial Forum, Taishoff says it’s a real court. That too many self-represented petitioners seem to agree with the late Justice is nothing to the point. Today we have two (count ’em, two) instances.

First, Ronald Powell and Cynthia Powell, T. C. Memo. 2023-48, filed 4/17/23. Appeals generously accepts their late-filed return and drops the deficiency from the SFR. Even more generously, Appeals offers two (count ’em, two) IAs, both well within Ron’s and Cynthia’s ability to pay per their belated 433-A, adjusted to the local standards for mortgage payment and car loans. Ron and Cynthia do nothing until they get the NOD, when they claim Appeals erroneously computed their RCP, but provide no backup.

“Petitioners assert that they sent the SO additional financial information, which allegedly would have supported a deviation from national and local standards, and they speculate that these documents were lost in the mail. Petitioners do not claim that they sent the documents by certified or registered mail, and they have supplied no affidavit or exhibit supporting their allegation. The taxpayer generally bears the risk of nondelivery when a tax return or other document is not sent by registered or certified mail.” T. C. Memo. 2023-48, at p. 7. (Citation omitted).

Do not try this with Judge Albert G (“Scholar Al”) Lauber (or any other Tax Court Judge or STJ).

Second, John J. Evan and Carissa R. Clark, T. C. Sum. Op. 2023-15, filed 4/17/23. John and Carissa claim the software made them do it, claim a Section 53 excess prior years’ AMT. Except IRS transcripts show whatever AMT John and Carissa paid in prior years was more than accounted for by what Section 53 credits John and Carissa claimed.

“Petitioner testified at trial that [his tax software] automatically generated his Form 8801 and that he had relied on the software to calculate the amount of tax credit to claim. Petitioner indicated that he had been unable to retrieve tax return documents for prior tax years from either [tax software company] and/or the IRS.” T. C. Sum., Op. 2023-15, at p. 4.

Petitioners have burden of proof, generally.

STJ Peter Panuthos: “Petitioners bear the burden of proving that the AMT was imposed and that they are entitled to the claimed credits. See Rule 142(a). From the record before us, we are unable to conclude that there is prior year minimum tax credit carryforward from which petitioners could claim a credit for the year in issue. Petitioners have failed to demonstrate their entitlement to the prior year minimum tax credit for the year in issue.” T. C. Sum. Op. 2023-15, at p. 5.

It’s a real Court, with real rules, and real trials. And real judges.


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