Attorney-at-Law

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

HARD TIMES: FOR THESE TIMES

In Uncategorized on 01/11/2021 at 11:52

I’m obliged once more to Dickens for the title of this blogpost. Karen D.Foxx, Docket No. 17625-19, filed 1/11/21, got two different W-2s for the same year from her employer, each showing different wages.

Seems Karen wasn’t the only employee of the Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition (NUIHC) thus embrangled, but she didn’t respond to the CP2000. Her boss, however, timely submitted some correspondence that explained Karen’s fix. This was treated as a petition; Karen was ordered to ratify, but it’s not clear she did. After the petition arrived at Appeals, IRS dropped any claim for tax or chop, and sent Karen decision docs so stating.

I won’t get into the issue whether the CEO of NUIHC is entitled to enter a Tax Court appearance when NUIHC is not the taxpayer. Karen’s story would end here, but for the arrival of an attorney, whom I’ll call Mikey. Mikey files Entry of Appearance, has a couple phonecalls (hi, Judge Holmes) with IRS, and gets new decision docs naming him as attorney.

These get signed off in less than three weeks. Mikey then asks for admins and legals of $6800.

“In this case, the IRS received third-party information that petitioner received two Forms W-2 from NUIHC – one reporting wages of $36,750 and another reporting wages of $50,350. In light of this information, respondent was justified in seeking clarification from petitioner regarding whether she received wages of $36,750 that she failed to report…. Unfortunately, petitioner failed to provide information to respondent to assist in resolving these questions, leading to the issuance of the notice of deficiency.” Order, at pp. 3-4.

So IRS is justified. When there are facts involved, IRS is entitled to time to get the facts, review what substantiation is proffered, and reach a result. Here IRS acted reasonably.

STJ Panuthos is his usual genteel self. “Although respondent contends that the claimed litigation costs are unreasonable, we need not resolve that question in disposing of this motion.” Order, at p. 3, footnote 2.

Even though Mikey’s involvement predates COVID-19, hard times are no excuse for this.

ORDERS IN THE COURT – PART DEUX

In Uncategorized on 01/11/2021 at 10:56

Mirabile dictù! Son of a fowling piece! Ma foi! There are 78 (count ’em, 78) Tax Court orders on the website today, with a précis of each.

The orders themselves are printed in a quality format, much different from old typewriter-style documents formerly posted.

In short, the website cleans up halfway fair.  Some of my numerous objections have been directly addressed, lowering my blood pressure and sparing my readers yet another rant.

Edited to add, 1/12/21: Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley heralds the great event. Maybe this link will work.

 

CAPTAINS OF THE CLOUDS

In Uncategorized on 01/08/2021 at 15:31

I entitle some new information as to the now-much-discussed launch of DAWSON, with the 1942 Cagney Brothers’ Canadian epic.

The aim of DAWSON was to migrate the United States Tax Court’s online operations from Tax Court’s own servers to The Cloud. But in trying to “slip the surly bonds of earth and join the tumbling mirth” of Cloud, DAWSON has, as has been noted by commentators other than me, resulted in a penguin march.

My sources inform me that the end-of-month revisions will unseal the case noted by Mr. Weston in his comment to my blogpost “Yes, We Have No Opinions,” 1/4/21. The Genius Baristas, with zeal for secrecy unmatched in The City Under Siege since the days of Deep Throat, decided that if any document in a case was sealed, the entire case file should be sealed, including without in any way limiting the generality of the foregoing, orders, opinions and decisions. Apparently, they never asked anybody about this brainstorm.

Orders and opinions will be unleashed at month’s end. What sort of judicial tsunami this will create is unknown. Remember that in pre-DAWSON days, the average daily release of orders amounted to some 150 to 200. A two-month backlog should result in some 6000 orders being released, whether in one gigantic deluge or over a few days. How anyone is supposed to scan and decide which of these is worthy of note is nowhere explained, as my sources confirm that the day of the designated hitter is gone forever.

My sources also tell me that orders will no longer be text-searchable. However, the Genius Baristas have devised a method whereby the inquirer can find out how many pages (or perhaps kilobytes) each order contains, from which one is expected to discern the importance of each.

It did not occur to these monuments of unageing intellect that, by this criterion, any of the novels of Edward Bulwer-Lytton (inspiration for the contest to write the worst opening sentence of a bad novel) would surpass The Sermon on the Mount, Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Gettysburg Address. Put together.

The concocters of this present (sorry, I am at a loss for a descriptor fit for family reading) are apparently a fresh set of Genius Baristas, successors to the crew which gave to a public, that never did them any harm but who paid for that (see previous parenthetical) with their taxes, the July debut of the new, improved, jazzy website. See my blogpost “If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It,” 7/20/20.

I cannot ascertain how the Chosen Few, who it is said commented on the design and implementation of DAWSON, were selected.

The public deserves to know, in reasonable detail, how the project was conceived, designed, and implemented. And what did this cost the American taxpayer and the Tax Court litigants so far?

Most importantly, we need a system that is transparent, user-friendly, and accessible even by the technophobic Luddite.

Having requested comments from Public Affairs, I have received none at time of publication.

I welcome comments and corrections.

PEACEFUL TRANSITION

In Uncategorized on 01/07/2021 at 09:12

No, I am not expanding on my comments made yesterday; at least, not here. I have said a lot, and shall continue to say a lot, elsewhere. This blog remains non-political.

I note that US Tax Court has announced that it will be closed on January 20, 2021, Inauguration Day, although teletrials will proceed

I had promised a commentator on this my blog that I would have more to say about the troll-out of DAWSON “at no very distant date.” See my blogpost “Yes, We Have No Opinions,” 1/4/21.

I had prepared “more to say” in writing, and used as my template Rule 71. I was going to send this to the Court on January 6, 2021, but events that date overtook me. So I have set aside my document until calm is restored in Our Nation’s Capital.

THIS IS A NON-POLITICAL BLOG

In Uncategorized on 01/06/2021 at 16:31

But what is happening today is not a political matter. This is an attempted coup in the middle of an epidemic. Not since 1860 has this country been in such danger as it is today. Whatever the course of the epidemic, and whatever the outcome of this coup, there will never again be a “normal” such as we formerly knew.

Again, I quote Goethe: “Today a new world begins.”

7461 AND ALL THAT

In Uncategorized on 01/05/2021 at 13:16

I take my title from Sellar and Yeatman’s 1930 comic classic. I take the statute cited therein from Title 26 of the United States Code.

Again, the new, improved (are we having fun yet?), jim-dandy website has no opinions today. And again, I’ve left voicemails seeking enlightenment as to today’s unsearchable and inscrutable orders with Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley’s chambers, and the hardlaboring Clerk’s office. I’ll report any responses.

As I said in my blogpost “26 USC §7461,” 11/13/19, “… Tax Court orders are where it’s at. It took me some time, but when I stated early on in this bloging life I lead that I would ignore small claimers and orders, I was utterly wrong.

“If anyone wants to see the gears meshing (or grinding), the wheels turning (or screeching to a halt), and which way the smoke is blowing, the orders are essential. The Stealth Subpoena is just one example; all the discovery moves, all the variances between Tax Court Rules and FRCP, all the gambits, are in the orders.

“If you’re trying to figure out Tax Court law and practice by reading between the lines of published opinions and designated orders, all you will see is white paper. Many orders that should be designated aren’t. Most opinions feature tax law; Tax Court procedure is definitely a long way behind, if it gets there at all.

“Shut down the orders search function, and I might as well pick up this electronic soapbox and go home.

“So what price Section 7461?”

Section 7461 says all proceedings at the Glasshouse Submerged in Dawson’s Creek are, and of right ought to be, public. That means orders.

I did reach the Public Affairs Officer, who assures me that the daily orders link-up will occur by the end of the month.

If anyone thinks this exonerates the Genius Baristas from responsibility for the monumental stramash that is the troll-out of DAWSON, I most respectfully differ.

YES, WE HAVE NO OPINIONS

In Uncategorized on 01/04/2021 at 20:36

Tax Court remains coy, doubtless drying its metaphorical skirts after releasing the flood at Dawson’s Creek. So we have no opinions today.

Orders remain shrouded. My phonecalls to the Clerk and to Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley, seeking copies of any and all orders, remain unreturned. I should be sad to think that journalists are as disliked at the judicial branch as they have been at the executive branch. But Scarlett O’Hara is right; tomorrow is another day.

Some orders are accessible on Dawson, if one has patience and the docket number of the order sought. All the links I so carefully provided in my blogposts these last ten (count ’em, ten) years are inoperative now. So, like Ibsen’s picaresque hero, you will have to go round about.

I will spare my readers, if any remain, a diatribe, philippic, or polemic on the shambolic schemozzle that the lash-up launch of the present website has been.

BLOWING OFF 2020

In Uncategorized on 12/31/2020 at 20:02

The Ogden Sunseteers’ Annual Report to Congress is available. Note that the average wait from Form 211 to payout is 3,229 days; that’s eight years ten months (count ’em, eight years ten months) to pay. And the number of actual payouts amount to 5% of total 211s handled.

Of course Chief Whistler Lee D. Martin (a delightful luncheon companion) laments that “… as the Tax Court has noted, whistleblowers submit numerous claims based entirely on publicly available information—some whistleblowers have submitted hundreds of such claims. To date, the Whistleblower Office has sought to process and respond to all claims filed by whistleblowers. While it will continue to do so, the Whistleblower Office will also continue to look for ways to address duplicative or non-meritorious claims in a summary fashion, both to focus its administrative resources better and to guard against the unnecessary or inadvertent disclosure of confidential taxpayer return information.” Report, at pp. 12-13.

I can’t cite just now to the relevant cases, as DAWSON prevents that. But serial blowers do clog the road to riches.

And the Chief Whistler points with pride to the new hook-up with the Alcohol and Tobacco revenooers. Of course, the Sunseteers went teletubby on account of Corona (the virus, not the beer).

Check out the report before you break out the Champagne.

I’D RATHER NOT BE RIGHT

In Uncategorized on 12/31/2020 at 15:44

I cannot repeat the words of Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser, who said he would rather be right than President, and who was neither.

The arrival of the new, improved (now put up the real website), jim-dandy DAWSON fully justifies my comment back on 10/12/20 (see my blogpost that date “Up Dawson’s Creek”), namely, viz., and to wit, “Given the schemozzle that occurred when the jazzy new homepage was unleashed in July, I can just see what December 28 will bring us, when the Genius Baristas push the ‘ENTER’ key. ‘Shambolic’ isn’t even close.”

I would a lot sooner be compelled to eat my words without Worcestershire sauce. A magnificent new, user-friendly, all-encompassing, accessible even to the ham-fisted touch of the most technophobic Luddite, lightning-fast, beyond-state-of-the-art site would have convulsed me with glee. I would have groveled before the Genius Baristas, proclaiming them the heirs of Prometheus, who “brought the fire that hath proved to mortals a means to mighty ends.”

But what we got approaches the current political scene, where I will not tread.

Happy New Year.

AULD LANG SYNE

In Uncategorized on 12/30/2020 at 18:38

I waited to make certain, but sure enough, the old United States Tax Court website, https://ustaxcourt.gov, has vanished from sight. As a much finer writer than I put it, “The rest is silence. Now cracks a noble heart.”

Still, let us raise a glass to the old hangout. And repeat the words of Scotland’s Greatest:

“And there’s a hand,
my trusty fiere!
and gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.”

Ladies and gentlemen, charge your glasses! Here’s to the old website!