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"Tax Court Takes Swipe at Daschle-Geithner-Killefer-Solis":

Paul Caron (TaxProf) writes:

The Tax Court yesterday held that the IRS did not abuse its discretion in refusing to accept [blues singer Koko Taylor's] proposed offers in compromise, upheld the IRS's tax lien and levy against her, and upheld the the IRS's refusal to abate tax penalties. Taylor v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2009-27 (Feb. 5, 2009). In its conclusion, the Tax Court appeared to take a swipe at Tom Daschle, Tim Keithner, Nancy Killefer, and Hilda Solis:

Both petitioner and respondent repeatedly commented on petitioner's stature as a beloved and well-known professional singer as support for their respective positions in these consolidated cases. We disagree with both parties insofar as they contend that a taxpayer's celebrity status is somehow relevant to what this Court must do in deciding whether the Commissioner's collection action may proceed. Every taxpayer, no matter how famous or notorious, has a legal obligation to honestly report and pay his or her income tax liability each year and is entitled to fair enforcement of Federal tax laws....

http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb:
Not crazy, but kind of a stretched inference. I get more Wesley Snipes/Leona Helmsley.
2.6.2009 11:06am
Houston Lawyer:
I agree that the Daschle reference is a stretch, unless it could be shown that his name was brought up in the proceedings.

Taylor's lawyer was just going for a mercy plea.
2.6.2009 11:15am
213423:
Surely you mean Tim Geithner.

[Sorry, fixed. -EV]
2.6.2009 11:17am
Dissenting Justice (mail) (www):
Not really.....
2.6.2009 11:31am
Malvolio:
You call that a swipe? I was hoping for "Court finds for the Government. Oh, and Daschle and Geithner should be in jail."
2.6.2009 11:43am
Steve:
Uh, when a litigant expressly makes a celebrity argument, it's a stretch to claim that the court, in denying the relevance of celebrity, is taking a swipe at whatever celebrities happen to be in the news currently. Not that I think Hilda Solis' husband is much of a celebrity.
2.6.2009 11:44am
Thorley Mythtaken (mail):
I don't think the analogy to the Obama-nees is apt or should be inferred.
None of them, as far as I know, either asked for a special dispensation from the IRS, or complained about the outcome of the IRS review process.
2.6.2009 11:56am
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
It seems like quite a stretch to read that as a swipe at any particular individuals.
2.6.2009 12:07pm
Muskrat:
Spoilsports. Legally they may be right, but they obviously never heard her sing if they think her distinguishing characteristic is fame. Plenty of worthless hacks have fame. Koko Taylor has talent. I'm just saying.
2.6.2009 12:14pm
guy in the veal calf office (mail) (www):
considering that the opinion was written in the past week or so, and further considering what has dominated headlines, late night comics, CNN, Daily Show and every other news source, its fair to infer that the judge was alluding to contemporary issues and taxpayers.
2.6.2009 12:24pm
Second Amendment Sister (mail):
Which reminds me: How did Geithner and Daschle end up with no penalties, anyway?
2.6.2009 12:53pm
Ugh (mail):
Which reminds me: How did Geithner and Daschle end up with no penalties, anyway?

The IRS waived Geitner's penalties on audit, and when he paid for the years that weren't under audit, I assume he didn't pay penalties because the statute had run and he was doing the government a favor by paying anything at all for those years.

Daschle could very well get hit with penalties since it appears the IRS didn't know about his unreported income/bad deductions until he filed his amended return and hence hasn't had a chance to assess them. And I don't know of any taxpayer who is going to assess penalties on himself.
2.6.2009 1:10pm
Dave N (mail):
I agree it is a stretch to call this a swipe. If the opinion had read:
Every taxpayer, no matter how famous or notorious, whether performing music or seeking high government office, has a legal obligation to honestly report and pay his or her income tax liability each year and is entitled to fair enforcement of Federal tax laws.
Then I think the swipe would clearly be there.
2.6.2009 2:11pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Doesn't much matter how even-handed the court is if the IRS won't present the case in the first place.
2.6.2009 5:29pm
Prof. S. (mail):
Here's how I would have phrased it:


Both petitioner and respondent . . . Every taxpayer, no matter how famous or notorious, has a legal obligation to honestly report and pay his or her income tax liability each year and is entitled to fair enforcement of Federal tax laws. [b]If Petitioner would like to use her celebrity status as an excuse to not pay taxes, then this Court highly recommends she run for public office or become nominated for a cabinet level position.


That's a swipe.
2.6.2009 8:47pm

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