Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


In Uncategorized on 01/17/2020 at 15:36

Judge Mark V Holmes discusses how an OIC transitions from Appeals to COIC and back again in Franklin H. Orienter & Sharon E. Orienter, Docket No. 20004-13L, filed 1/17/20.

Frank & Sharon had health problems, big medical bills, and $300K in unpaid taxes owed for four (count ‘em, four) years, but IRS only gave them a NITL for one of those years. Frank & Sharon wanted to settle all four years, and ghave Appeals an OIC for all of them. That’s when the trouble started.

“When a taxpayer has filed a request for a CDP hearing, the COIC rejection automatically gets sent to the Appeals Office. And that’s just what happened here. The COIC rejection letter sent to the Orienters noted that ‘[a] final determination on the offer will be issued by [the Appeals Office] in conjunction with the CDP case.’” Order, at p. 3.

The RCP was way over the OIC that Frank & Sharon put in.

Tax Court can consider abuse-of-discretion for one year for which there’s proper petition if it’s part of a multi-year OIC for years not petitioned. What Tax Court can’t do is stop collection for the out years.

Section 6330 says Appeals must consider law and administrative procedure. Everyone agrees the IRM is “administrative procedure.” But Appeals says they followed procedure, and Frank & Sharon say they didn’t. So we have what Judge Holmes characteristically describers as “the intersection, or perhaps one might say at the point of collision, of a couple lines of authority.” Order, at p. 3. Vintage Holmes, as another partitive genitive bites the dust.

The “couple” lines? IRM creates no rights for the taxpayer, ands Judge Holmes has a bushelbasketful of cases that say so. But agency rules that constrain others also bind the agency, say another bushelbasketful of cases. Since Frank & Sharon are New Yorkers, 2 Cir wants agencies to follow even those procedures not yet published in Fed Register. I know, Tax Court has to Golsen these cases to DC Cir, since they’re prior to the 2015 effective date of the amendment to Section 7482(b)(1)(G).

But Judge Holmes is a master at ducking.

IRM (Jul. 18, 2013) sets forth the steps to take when Appeals gets back an OIC that COIC bounced. And the AO did that. He reviews the entire file, recalculate the RCP using the assets and values identified by COIC, and determine if the special circumstances described in the file warranted acceptance of the [original] offer.

Frank’s & Sharon’s attorney wants to testify about discussions with the AO, but that’s not a fact question, that’s an abuse of discretion question.

“The Orienters have not raised a factual dispute that the Appeals officer excluded material evidence of his consideration of their request from the administrative record. There is reasonable disagreement about the merits of his decision, but that’s not enough to conclude that he abused his discretion.

“This also means that we need not plumb the difficult questions raised by the Commissioner in opposing the Orienters’ motion for waiver of conflict of interest to allow their attorney to testify — we’ll deny that motion because the testimony wouldn’t make a difference to an issue material to the case.” Order, at p. 10.

I really want to see something more than the blanket assertion that a petitioner’s attorney can’t testify. That isn’t what the ABA Model Rules say, and I’ve blogged that often enough. But Judge Holmes isn’t going there.

Frank & Sharon wanted a face-to-face, but they live in Monroe County, Appeals has no money for roadies, and Frank & Sharon can’t travel to Nassau County where the local Appeals crew hangs out. No right to a face-to-face anyway.





In Uncategorized on 01/17/2020 at 01:12

Years ago a client told me what he’d learned in AA. Show up. Even if you can’t do much, show up. Be where you’re supposed to be. Be there sober, but be there.

Well, that obliging Jurist, Judge David Gustafson puts that lesson in a designated hitter off-the-bencher, Thomas V. Meyers & Joanne T. Meyers, Docket No. 8453-19, filed 1/16/20.

Their trial was the only one on that day in Winston-Salem, NC. The morning was spent with a stip of agreed facts. IRS dropped the chops. Trial started in the afternoon. First up was Thomas, but his testimony was halted for Joanne, who couldn’t be present the next day, to testify about her extensive religious activities. Thomas said he’d show up the next day, but didn’t.

“At about 9:15 a.m…., respondent’s counsel advised the Court that Mr. Meyers had sent an email (Ex. 30-R) stating that he would not appear.

“The email stated that business conflicts had arisen so that he could not come. A second email stated that the judge has ‘already made up his mind – it’s going to be a waste of time. We were were all there today, and he’s got all the information he needs. He’ll have to make a decision with what he’s got, and we’ll accept his decision.’ We placed a telephone call to Mr. Meyers with respondent’s counsel standing by, in the hope that we
could have a conference call, but the call went straight to voicemail. We stated in voicemail that his failure to appear is improper, that he should come to trial, and that we would start at 9:30 as scheduled. He did not appear, and proceedings resumed at 9:30 a.m., consisting of argument by respondent’s attorney from the evidence on the record. The Commissioner moved orally for dismissal of the case for failure to prosecute and for the imposition of a penalty under section 6673(a).” Transcript, at p. 10.

Thomas’ no-show really steamed Judge Gustafson.

“A party’s failure to appear at trial – and especially his failure to appear for cross-examination after he has been permitted to put on his own testimony in ‘direct examination’ –is a most serious offense against the process. Ours is an adversary system, and it presumes that the truth can best be discerned by allowing competing parties to challenge and probe each other’s claims. Where a party evades cross-examination, he frustrates this process fundamentally. He unfairly disables the opposing party from being able to probe his evidence, and he invites the inference that his claims could not bear up under examination.

“So serious is this violation that it justifies wholesale dismissal of the case for ‘failure to prosecute”, with the consequence that the deficiency determination of the Commissioner is upheld.” Transcript, at p. 12.

But the quality of Judge Gustafson’s obliging character is unstrained.

“However, it is the frequent practice of this Court-often at the instance of the Commissioner – to dismiss a case for failure to prosecute but to enter decision in a deficiency amount smaller than what appears in the SNOD. Typically this occurs when respondent’s counsel has determined to concede an issue and affirmatively proposes the smaller deficiency amount. In the same way, we prefer if possible, even in such a circumstance, to enter a decision based on the facts demonstrated by the evidence rather than as a punishment. But to do so without rewarding the petitioner for his non-appearance, we must scrutinize his evidence closely and resolve all doubts against him. We will attempt to do so in this instance, but this requires us, in effect, to impose a heightened burden of proof on the non-complying petitioners.” Transcript, at pp. 12-13.

Well, Thomas seems to have “deliberately concocted a non-authentic receipt and tried to make the Commissioner and the Court assume that it was authentic.” Transcript, at p. 14.

IRS counsel then elaborated on what her cross would have been. Thomas would have had a most unhappy morning. As it was, Judge Gustafson has no confidence in Thomas’ veracity, and was inclined to bounce all his claims absent independent corroboration, which Thomas had not.

Judge Gustafson mercifully allowed Thomas and Joanne all of their home mortgage interest on Schedule A, even though they claimed 94% of their home was used for business on their Schedule Cs, because the lender confirmed the amount.

I’ll spare you Judge Gustafson’s deconstruction of the rest of the Meyers’ deductions. Joanne had a lot of mileage for religious purposes but no substantiation. Section 274 blew away most of their other deductions, and want of receipts put paid to all but $187 of the rest.

IRS wants a Section 6673 frivolity chop, but Judge Gustafson says it might require Section 6751(b) Boss Hossery, and IRS’ version is an e-mail that is hardly unequivocal. Nevertheless, Judge Gustafson isn’t deciding that in an off-the-bencher, although as a dyed-in-the-wool Boss Hoss fan, he comes mighty close. And while he can sua sponte do one for Thomas and Joanne, Thomas and Joanne never had a yellow card in either of their two previous trips to USTC.

So a Rule 155 beancount. But I somehow doubt Thomas and Joanne will be putting in a lot of numbers.




In Uncategorized on 01/16/2020 at 20:14

Swifter even than jeopardy comes Section 6851 termination. If it looks like the non-taxpayer is about to scarper with the readies, IRS can immediately assess and grab. Ugorji Timothy Wilson Onyeani, 2020 T. C. Memo. 15, filed 1/16/2020, is a perfect candidate.

UTWO was born in Nigeria, naturalized n the UK where he practiced medicine (but lost his license for falsifying records and misconduct), got a US green card and, claiming to be a broker for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., got an $800K advance from a couple customers (hi, Judge Holmes), who should have known better, for Bonny Crude, of which he had none but he did have a phony corporate shell. When he tried to wire $300K to a UK corporation from his BoA account, BoA shut him down.

UTWO then went to Harris Bank, who tipped off the Secret Service. Then IRS got word, did a flash bank deposits reconstruction and a quick-and-dirty SFR, and did the Section 6851 grab. Harris escrowed $289K to cover the potential lien, which UTWO fought unsuccessfully in USDCNDIL, whereupon Harris paid IRS the $289K, and UTWO took the rest. Some he’d already spent on trips to Disneyland and at Victoria’s Secret (don’t ask). The onshore customer sued him, and he settled for $400K. And he and Mrs. UTWO filed a return for the year at issue showing only Mrs. UTWO’s income, and paid $2K in tax.

Maybe I got one of UTWO’s e-mails in my spam box; I don’t remember.

Judge Albert G (“Scholar Al”) Lauber spends some time on the Section 6751(b) Boss Hoss, but that was OK.

UTWO does get credit for the $400K he paid back to one of his customers. If you steal and repay in  the same year, you deduct what you repaid.

But whomever he defrauded, it wasn’t IRS.

Remember, Section 6664(a) defines “underpayment of tax,” a necessary component of a deficiency, as “the amount by which the tax imposed for the year (i.e., the correct amount of tax) exceeds the sum of ‘(A) the amount shown as the tax by the taxpayer on his return, plus (B) amounts not so shown previously assessed (or collected without assessment).’” 2020 T. C. Memo. 15, at p. 30. And Reg. Section 1.6664-2(a) includes termination assessments per Section 6851 in “amounts not shown previously assessed.”

IRS knew about the termination assessment, and the money was paid to IRS. UTWO gets a deduction for what he paid back to the onshore customer. And the amount of tax that IRS assessed on the termination, plus Mrs. UTWO’s tax exceeds the amount of tax they owed. And UTWO couldn’t evade payment of tax that was already in IRS’ hands.

No deficiency, no fraud chop, not even an accuracy penalty. There’s a Rule 155, so it just might be possible that UTWO gets a refund.

UTWO was pro se. I’ll give him a Taishoff “Good Job, Second Class.”


In Uncategorized on 01/16/2020 at 19:17

See my blogpost “Old Bill Gets On His Bike,” 8/17/18. Old Bill Wise, technophobic but au courant, gets Judge Gustafson to oblige him by tossing the chop in Laidlaw’s Harley Davidson Sales, Inc, 154 T. C. 4, filed 1/16/20.

IRS sent a 30-day letter asserting a Section 6707A chop for failure to report a Section 6011 reportable (the Sterling Benefit Plan, phony health and retirement deductions above permissible). The 30-day letter gave Laidlaw a chance to go to Appeals, which they did. But IRS’ RA only got the Form 300 Civil Penalty Approval Form (CPAF) ninety (count ‘em, ninety) days after the 30-day letter. Appeals tossed Laidlaw, penalty was assessed, and NITL followed. Laidlaw petitioned the NOD that followed their CDP.

IRS has feet of Clay. No timely Boss Hoss.

Judge Gustafson: “The Commissioner argues that the plain language of section 6751(b)(1), as applied to section 6707A penalties (or, for that matter, to any of the other so-called ‘assessable penalties’ found in chapter 68, subchapter B of the Code), demands only that written supervisory approval of an assessable penalty occur before the IRS’s assessment of the penalty–a standard with which the IRS complied in this case.” 154b T. C. 4, at p. 12.

To make that argument to the Great Dissenter in Graev bespeaks a certain desperation.

Judge Gustafson: “Today we reach the question whether the supervisory approval requirement of section 6751(b)(1) applies to the assessable penalty of section 6707A, and the answer is yes.

“The penalty for failure to report a ‘reportable transaction’ is repeatedly identified as a ‘penalty’ in the title and text of section 6707A. That provision is plainly–in the language of section 6751(b)(1)—‘under this title’ (i.e., under title 26 of the United States Code). Section 6751(b)(2) does provide for two exceptions, but neither applies here. First, written supervisory approval is not required for ‘any addition to tax under section 6651, 6654, or 6655’, sec. 6751(b)(2)(A), but this set does not include section 6707A. Second, written supervisory approval is not required for ‘any other penalty automatically calculated through electronic means’, sec. 6751(b)(2)(B), but the Commissioner does not argue that section 6707A constitutes a penalty ‘automatically calculated through electronic means.’ Nor could he so contend. The parties have stipulated that RA C–not a computer—‘made the initial determination to assert the I.R.C. § 6707A penalty against petitioner’, so this was not an instance in which ‘the penalty was determined mathematically by a computer software program without the involvement of a human IRS examiner’. Accordingly, we conclude that the written supervisory approval requirement of section 6751(b)(1) applies to the assessable section 6707A penalty.” 154 T. C.4, at pp. 19-20. (Citation and name omitted).

As for timing, much is made about the supervisor having authority to approve the chop, but that’s not the only test. This has to happen at the examination stage, before penalties are put on the table, to prevent the “bargaining chip” Congress deplored. And Judge Gustafson cites a great authority for that point (himself, dissenting in Graev.). 154 T. C.4, at p. 25.

Appeals was arbitrary and capricious in asserting that Section 6751(b) was complied with. Boss Hoss came too late.

Old Bill wins it.




In Uncategorized on 01/16/2020 at 15:21

Amazon Inc. & Subsidiaries, Docket No. 21959-16, filed 1/16/20, is going to trial in less than a month. IRS moved to amend its answer in late December, to increase the alleged deficiency.

For you procedure nerds, Judge Pugh has some guidance.

Of course Amazon opposes the amendment. “…opposition is based primarily on the possibility that petitioner would be prejudiced if we allow the amendment but petitioner’s opposition does not cite specific examples of prejudice (for example, how the amendment will change the evidence petitioner would present at trial). We therefore will grant respondent’s motion and instead will allow petitioner to identify any prejudice during the course of the trial, at which time we will address it.” Order, at p. 1.

By now, deadlines for discovery have passed, so both sides must have their documents and settled issues stiped in (or disputes laid out), witnesses listed and on-call, expert reports (if any) exchanged, and any depositions completed.

It seems to me that a small issue might have been conceded if it cost more to fight than to pay, but if the cost to pay increased by an order of magnitude, maybe it might be worth withdrawing from the stip and fighting. In any case, be specific; a mere generality won’t get it.

But are there dueling burdens of proof? Is Amazon on the hook to prove only that the base deficiency is incorrect? Is IRS on the hook to prove the added amount only, or the entire (new) deficiency?

Judge Pugh: “We also will defer ruling on the effect of respondent’s amendment on the burden of proof- that is, whether respondent bears the burden of proof as to the increase alone or as to the entire deficiency, as petitioner claims. That question is better left to post-trial briefing against the backdrop of a complete record.” Order, at p. 1.

A free translation from the judgespeak: I make “preponderance of the evidence” 8 to 5 in the morning line.


In Uncategorized on 01/16/2020 at 14:36

It’s a misdemeanor under AZ law for anyone to release the info in the registry files of AZ potteries. So when IRS subpooenas the AZ Department of Health Services for the skinny on Superior Organics, Inc., Docket No. 18726-18, filed 1/16/20, the AZ AG moves to quash.

For you civilians, in most States, the State Attorney General is the litigation lawyer for State agencies. And all States have confidentiality provisions for sensitive information in State agencies’ records.

But Judge Pugh is not impressed.

Federal privilege rules apply, says FRE 501, except where a State claim or defense is involved. AZ is not a party to this case, and isn’t suing for or defending anything.

And courts have held that State privilege doesn’t apply where a Federal question (and that includes Federal taxes) is involved. Check out the Order at p. 3 for the cases for your memo of law.

But the AZ AG argues that the AZ State agency is off the hook, via the Supremacy Clause of the U. S. Constitution (Art. VI, cl. 2),

“The Department also requests that we conclude that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution applies here to supersede the AMMA confidentiality provision and the AMMA violation provision if we force the Department to comply with the subpoena.” Order, at p. 3.

In the tradition of Judge David Gustafson, Judge Pugh obliges. See Order, at p. 4, citing a case from USDCWDMI.

Takeaway- The State pottery files are an open book for IRS.







In Uncategorized on 01/15/2020 at 23:27

Today’s opinions are all, or almost all, unsubstantiated indocumentados, with one fraud thrown in. One order, undesignated though it may be, does point out one answer to a question I discussed in my blogpost “Refund Conundrums,” 12/2/16: “When does a petitioner get back the sixty buck filing fee?”

Here’s Laverne G. Eubanks & Cedric R. Eubanks, Docket No. 22159-19, filed 1/15/20. Laverne & Cedric petitioned and paid the filing fee. Three (count ‘em, three) days later, Laverne & Cedric file an Application for Waiver of Filing Fee.

Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley provides a simple rule.

“Because the filing fee was paid when the petition was filed, we will deny petitioners’ request to waive the filing fee.” Order, at p. 1.

If you pay first, you’re stuck.



In Uncategorized on 01/14/2020 at 18:11

Here Be Dragons

There are two kinds of assessments of tax, summary and deficiency. Deficiency assessments are triggered by notices, the SNODs that are keys to the Glasshouse door. Summary assessments are just that: no notice. Deficiency assessments include the subtitle A filed returns and SFRs. Summary assessments include additions to tax, arithmetic errors, electronically computeds, and self-reporteds.

MEI Productions, 2020 T. C. Memo. 11, filed 1/14/20, discovers that its amended return, showing the wrong tax due, garners a Section 6651(a)(3) underreporting addition, despite settling for less in the deficiency proceeding that precedes this challenge to the NOD sustaining the NITL for the addition.

MEI is fighting the addition computed on the mistakenly reported tax on the amended return. And IRS settled with MEI on a lower amount, and paid it.

Confused? So am I, so I’ll let Judge Ashford explain.

First, this is a summary assessment, not a deficiency. The amended return, though later settled out at a lower amount, still had the number the IRS assessed.

“All this having been said, petitioner’s contention would have merit only if the IRS’ [higher number] assessment…was a deficiency assessment. But it clearly was not. It was a summary assessment and it was a valid summary assessment because the preconditions for making such an assessment were satisfied: (1)… petitioner filed a valid amended return for the year at issue and (2) this return manifested an unconditional admission of liability for an additional [higher number]. Indeed, petitioner does not dispute that these preconditions were met. Petitioner’s filing of that amended return does not, however, convert the IRS’ summary assessment into a deficiency assessment that would be prohibited under section 6213(a) because of the then-pending deficiency case. We also note that the IRS’ … assessment was for [the amended return amount] and not…the amount the IRS determined as a deficiency in petitioner’s Federal income tax in the notice of deficiency it sent to petitioner.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 11, at p. 19.

But IRS’ deft counsel played deftly with MEI’s attorney. The stip on the deficiency case said no tax due and no refund due, but there was “an unpaid assessment of tax” for the year at issue. Both MEI’s attorney and IRS’ attorney signed off.

“Thus, if petitioner truly believed that the [higher number] assessment was an unlawful deficiency assessment, we find it curious that Mr. M [MEI’s attorney] would even have signed this document on its behalf. Furthermore, even before that and once the levy notice was issued, petitioner could (and should) have sought to enjoin the [higher number] assessment if it truly believed that assessment was unlawful by filing a motion pursuant to Rule 55 in the deficiency case. No such action was taken; instead, petitioner sought relief by submitting a CDP hearing request. Consequently, the [higher number] assessment was lawful and it follows that the section 6651(a)(3) addition to tax is also lawful.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 11, at p. 20 (Name and footnote omitted, but read the footnote; Mr M never called the IRS’ counsel as a witness).

Takeaway- When you settle out a deficiency, make sure all additions to tax based on the original amount of the deficiency are dropped.







In Uncategorized on 01/14/2020 at 17:17

It was the Black ’08. Any of my readers who were practicing in 2007-2008 will remember those years with a shudder. The lenders, watching the collapse of the credit system, were on a tear. Glenn David Cuthbertson a.k.a. David Cuthbertson and Pamela Cuthbertson, 2020 T. C. Memo. 9, filed 1/14/20, were under the gun, and had to get rid of the golf course they needed for their housing development to sell.

So they set up an intrafamily passthrough roundy-round with daughter, son-in-law and old chum, to sell but not divest, and claim a huge tax loss. They allegedly had real estate counsel, but hopefully he did not engineer the scheme nor draft the documents in support thereof.

Since the scene is South Carolina, who better to tell this tale than that obliging jurist and native son Judge David Gustafson?

Maybe the golf course was sold; maybe only the land under the golf course was sold; maybe the clubhouse on the golf course was leased, or abandoned, or maybe not. Maybe only benefits-and-burdens were transferred (or maybe not). Some notes were sold in package (with no separate stated price for each), but could be individually repurchased. And of course Section 453 installment treatment is invoked for land held as inventory (no, you can’t). And Powell on Real Property gets a chawin’ that even Webster would admire.

And Judge Gustafson’s diss of the subjunctive mood in witness’ testimony is a treat. “The Court finds Mr. M’s testimony–to the extent that it was subjunctive–unpersuasive at best, since it was not informative as to what actually happened, and evasive at worst.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 9, at p. 73. (Name omitted).

I must confess that I stopped short of schadenfreude, although it was a struggle. But you have to read this opinion for the document drafting; clessic (and that’s no typo).


In Uncategorized on 01/13/2020 at 17:42

No, this is not an episode of the fifty-five year old soap opera. This is yet another in the endless series of counting days from date of mailing of petition to the date whereon the hard-laboring intake clerks and flailing datestampers at The Glasshouse on Second Street, NW, receive same in hot hands.

Judge Vasquez has this one, the story of Michael J. Seely and Nancy B. Seely, 2020 T. C. Memo. 6, filed 1/13/20. But Mike and Nan are bystanders, as the hero of this tale is their trusty attorney, whom I’ll call Scotty.

The SNOD, sent by certified mail to last known address, says last day to petition is June 26. Petition arrives at Glasshouse July 17. The envelope is sealed, undamaged, correctly addressed, and correctly postpaid. But there is no postmark or anything showing when USPS first got it.

IRS moves to toss for late filing. Scotty ripostes with a sworn declaration that he posted it in the mailbox on the corner on June 22.

We all know a USPS postmark is conclusive. Any non-USPS postage mark doesn’t count.

“The regulations prescribe distinct rules for USPS and non-USPS postmarks, sec. 301.7502-1(c)(1)(iii), Proced. & Admin. Regs., but they supply no rules to govern the situation where the envelope has no postmark whatsoever. When a postmark is missing, our caselaw instructs us to deem the postmark illegible and permit the introduction of extrinsic evidence to ascertain the mailing date. The burden is on the party who invokes section 7502 to present ‘convincing evidence’ of timely mailing.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 6, at p. 5 (Citations omitted).

It’s one thing to claim mailing when IRS never got the item, and that’s a loser, but here Tax Court did. So Judge Vasquez holds a hearing.

“At the hearing respondent alleged that it takes 8 to 15 business days for the USPS to deliver a piece of mail to a Government agency located in Washington, D.C., from any location in the United States. Petitioners do not dispute this contention, and we deem it conceded. If the petition was mailed on June 26…, the last day to file a petition, then the petition’s delivery date would have fallen within the 15-day window. In a sworn declaration [Scotty] declared that he deposited the petition in the U.S. mail several days earlier, on June 22…. Respondent argues that if the petition had in fact been mailed on June 22…, then it would have been delivered to the Tax Court no later than July 14…, which was a Friday. The petition, however, arrived on Monday, July 17…. Because the petition arrived at the Court later than it should have (16 business days after the alleged mailing date rather than 15), respondent contends that [Scotty]’s declaration is not convincing evidence. We disagree.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 6, at p. 7. (Footnote omitted, but here it is).

“Respondent stated that according to the USPS, it can take three to five business days for a piece of mail dropped into a collection box to reach Washington, D.C., from any location in the United States. Once sorted, mail is transported to a New Jersey location for irradiation, which takes an additional 5 to 10 days, and then returned to Washington, D.C., to be delivered. On the basis of this information it can be inferred that a petition can take as little as 8 business days and up to 15 business days to arrive at the Tax Court after being mailed.” 2020 T. C. Memo. 6, at p.7, footnote 3.

IRS claims Scotty is a day late and a lot more than a dollar short.

Judge Vasquez notes that while Mike and Nan’s petition was en route, there fell the Fourth of July holiday. Taking judicial notice that this is a Federal holiday which impacts holiday closures, staff shortages and higher than normal mail volumes, he finds Scotty beat the tag.

Scotty was timely. Just. I expect, however, that he won’t use that mailbox again.