Procedural Issues
Higbee v. Commissioner

On Penalties and Burdens

A burden is a burden, right?  A thirty-three-year-old man-child, living in his mother’s basement, with a Cheeto-stained, self-described “ironical” mustache, then yes.  That’s a burden, no matter how you slice it.  No need to prove it or to produce evidence to support it.  He’s a bum and a burden.  Shave the flavor saver, and get a damn job, hippie. Proof and production, though.  Six of one, half a dozen of another?  Not when it comes

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Procedural Issues
Assessment

Procedural Considerations on Collection (Assessment) – Part Three: Termination and Jeopardy Assessments

In the first article in this series about collection and assessment, we explored the basics of assessment.  In the second article, we examined the nuances of deficiencies.  In this third article, we examine termination and jeopardy assessments. Termination Assessments If the IRS finds that a taxpayer aims to quickly do any act tending to prejudice or to render wholly or partially ineffectual proceedings to collect the income tax for the current or the immediately preceding

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Procedural Issues
90-Day Letter

Procedural Considerations on Collection (Assessment) – Part Two: Authority and Limits on Assessment

In the first article in this series about the IRS’s ability to assess tax and additions thereto, we explored the basics of assessment.  In this second article, we’ll examine deficiencies.  In the third article, we’ll examine termination and jeopardy assessments. Deficiencies, Generally For purposes of income, estate, gift, and excise taxes, a deficiency is the amount by which the tax imposed by the Code exceeds the amount of tax shown on the taxpayer’s return, plus

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Income Tax Issues
Books and Records

The Cohan Rule and the IRC § 274 Exception

A taxpayer may deduct all ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on a trade or business.[1] In contrast, a taxpayer may not deduct personal, living, or family expenses unless the Code expressly provides otherwise.[2] The determination of whether an expense satisfies the requirements of IRC § 162 is a question of fact for the Tax Court.[3] Proving Entitlement A taxpayer must prove his entitlement to all deductions and

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Income Tax Issues
“At Risk” Rules

Personal Liability under the At Risk Rules

So, you have a business loss.  Join the club.  The real question is whether you have personal liability under the at risk rules of IRC § 465. Personal Liability under the At Risk Rules of IRC § 465 For certain taxpayers (including individuals and certain closely held corporations), who are engaged in certain activities (including each activity engaged in by the taxpayer in carrying on a trade or business or for the production of income),

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Procedural Issues
Audit

IRS’s Failure to Communicate Does not Violate IRC § 7605(b)

No taxpayer shall be subjected to unnecessary examination or investigations, and only one inspection of a taxpayer’s books of account shall be made for each taxable year unless the taxpayer requests otherwise or unless the Secretary, after investigation, notifies the taxpayer in writing that an additional inspection is necessary.[1] If a taxpayer’s books and records are inspected while in the hands of his accountant or attorney, the taxpayer can object to a second inspection.[2] An

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Crazy Germans

Frivolous Taxpayers and the Jurists who Loathe Them

Frivolous taxpayers are amongst my absolute favorites.  The opinions that they spawn are just wonderful breaks in an otherwise monotonous string of upheld determinations…especially when they involve crazy German nationals, as no less than three did in 2020.  In this article, we examine the frivolous return penalty (IRC § 6702) and the frivolous petition penalty (IRC § 6673(a)(1)).  In doing so, we include a discussion of some of the taxpayers that made 2020 so much

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On Penalties and Burdens

A burden is a burden, right?  A thirty-three-year-old man-child, living in his mother’s basement, with a Cheeto-stained, self-described “ironical” mustache, then yes.  That’s a burden, no matter how you slice it.  No need to prove it or to produce evidence to support it.  He’s a bum and a burden.  Shave

Read More »

The Cohan Rule and the IRC § 274 Exception

A taxpayer may deduct all ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on a trade or business.[1] In contrast, a taxpayer may not deduct personal, living, or family expenses unless the Code expressly provides otherwise.[2] The determination of whether an expense satisfies the requirements

Read More »

Personal Liability under the At Risk Rules

So, you have a business loss.  Join the club.  The real question is whether you have personal liability under the at risk rules of IRC § 465. Personal Liability under the At Risk Rules of IRC § 465 For certain taxpayers (including individuals and certain closely held corporations), who are

Read More »

IRS’s Failure to Communicate Does not Violate IRC § 7605(b)

No taxpayer shall be subjected to unnecessary examination or investigations, and only one inspection of a taxpayer’s books of account shall be made for each taxable year unless the taxpayer requests otherwise or unless the Secretary, after investigation, notifies the taxpayer in writing that an additional inspection is necessary.[1] If

Read More »

Frivolous Taxpayers and the Jurists who Loathe Them

Frivolous taxpayers are amongst my absolute favorites.  The opinions that they spawn are just wonderful breaks in an otherwise monotonous string of upheld determinations…especially when they involve crazy German nationals, as no less than three did in 2020.  In this article, we examine the frivolous return penalty (IRC § 6702)

Read More »