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Summary Opinions 11/15/2013

Posted on Nov. 18, 2013

I’ve been pressed into action on some other writing, so this week is a little light on content and commentary.  Feel free to comment on anything important that I may have missed.  I also wanted to thank you all for the comments, emails and other messages regarding the Tax Atturkey; Anna, my six year old, was very proud and happy to receive such kind words from such an esteemed group.  Here are a few things that were on our radar this week:

  • The Service has updated the IRM regarding FBAR appeals, and Jack Townsend’s Federal Tax Crimes Blog has the updated language.
  • We’ll stick with Mr. Townsend, but this time from his Tax Procedure Blog , a good discussion of Reifler v. Comm’r, where the Tax Court ruled on an equitable estoppel issue, but took a detour through a Beard discussion as to what is required for a valid tax return.  The taxpayer attempted to invoke the tacit consent rule regarding the spouse’s signature, which the Court denied.  Usually, the Service is making that argument.  Interesting case, and the post gives away an amazing amount of information.
  • Last week we highlighted the story of the Dehkos, who run a grocery store in Michigan, and had their checking account seized by the Service.  It looks like the Service has returned the funds; coverage by Tax Girl can be found here.
  • Musicians are making all kinds of tax news.  Tina “no tax” Turner relinquished her US citizenship.  And Ron Isley lost his Tax Court case and his offer in compromise.  Peter Reilly at Forbes has comprehensive coverage, as does Jack Townsend on his Federal Tax Crimes Blog.  Mr. Biggs is still in the clink, and now out a fairly good tax deal.
  • Tax News by Mr. Monte Jackel, has a summary of the recent Diebold Foundation case out of the Second Circuit, which deals with the standard of review in transferee liability cases and the application of the two part test under Section 6901.  The discussions of both holdings are interesting.  I will hold off on any other commentary, as we may have more to say on this case during the week.
  • From the Journal of Accountancy, a new story regarding an IRS email blast to practitioners (which I did not get or I deleted) indicating it will send letters in November and December to preparers it “suspected of filing inaccurate EITC claims.”  In addition to a thinly veiled threat, the letter appears to be a teaching opportunity, indicating issues commonly found on the returns.  I guess the Service has been listening to everyone gripe about the improper refunds based on the credits.
  • Christopher Bergin on the Tax Analysts Blog has a commentary on Nina Olson’s recent remarks regarding IRS funding and the taxpayer bill of rights. Congress is putting the Service in a bad position.
  • WSJ (subscription required) and Forbes have articles on the use of John Doe summonses to Citi, Chase, BoA, Mellon and HSBC to obtain information about offshore accounts held at related foreign banks. Thankfully, my wealth is all tied up in student loans (“it’s an investment in your future” – I should have gone into plastics).
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