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Damiani v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2020-132)

On September 17, 2020, the Tax Court issued a Memorandum Opinion in the case of Damiani v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo. 2020-132). The primary issue before the court in Damiani was whether the IRS Whistleblower Office abused its discretion in rejecting the petitioner’s claim on the ground that she did not provide any information whatsoever regarding a federal tax violation.

The Crazy Rears its Head Again

Not to be done by Herr Alber and Herr Friedel, Frau Damiani, yet another foreign national residing in Germany, filed a whistleblower claim in May 2019, identifying two targets (1) German insurance company, and (2) the insurance company’s director. She alleged that the targets had committed fiduciary fraud, bond fraud, securities fraud, and identity theft, asserting that they had forged her name on insurance contracts and repeatedly demanded payments for insurance premiums that allegedly “disappear[ed].” She made allegations of money laundering and tax fraud, asking whether “IRS Form 1099-OID…was required, and ha[d] Form 1040 already been submitted?”

As with Herr Friedel, the petitioner supplied little information to support her claims. What she did provide was a memorandum setting forth his allegations, an identity theft affidavit, and letters that “several documents, written entirely in German, that appear to be invoices.” Similarly, she made no discernible allegations regarding the U.S. tax liability of any person. The claims were assigned the same poor classifier as in the Friedel case, who discovered quickly that neither party was a U.S. person or entity.” He concluded that, because the allegations pertained to “events between and among non-USA persons/entities,” petitioner did not identify a Federal tax issue. He accordingly recommended that the WBO reject petitioner’s claims.

The Petition

Upon receiving a letter of determination from the WBO rejecting her claims, the petitioner filed an untimely petition with the Tax Court. The IRS filed a motion for summary judgment, and the Tax Court ordered the petitioner to respond. Petitioner, however, did not deign to provide a response.

Rehashing Friedel

The remainder of the case is a verbatim retelling of the same story in Friedel, which I urge you, dear reader, to read if you need a chuckle.

Rejecting the Crazy

As Judge Lauber so patiently explained in Friedel, the petitioner’s “arguments” and “allegations” were complete and utter nonsense. Though he didn’t go so far as to say that he wouldn’t dignify the allegations with a response, because that’s not Judge Lauber’s style, the dismissal was summary in the words unusually terse for Lauber, whose opinions are not known for their brevity.

(T.C. Memo. 2020-132) Damiani v. Commissioner

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