Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Hooray for the Tax Court!
From: "larken" firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2003/07/09 Wed AM 12:57:15 EDT
Subject: Hooray for the Tax Court!
Dear List Subscriber,
Yes, I really did write "hooray for the Tax Court," and I wasn't even kidding. I just heard from a reliable source that today (7/8/03) the Tax Court ruled that it is IMPROPER for the IRS Appeals division to disallow audio-recording of meetings held before Appeals, including Collections Due ProcessHearings. (That was the new "policy" of IRS Appeals, as of many months ago.)
It's sort of sad that this is even worth celebrating, since 26 USC § 7521 makes it glaringly obvious that Appeals is REQUIRED BY LAW to allow such recordings. Why the heck we needed a "ruling" to state the bleeding obvious is beyond me. Oh well.
The next question is, how will the IRS respond? The IRS does NOT consider Tax Court rulings binding on them, except for the particular case before the court (or pseudo-court). So I see two options for the IRS:
1) ABIDE by what the Tax Court said, and make it so that all the thuggery that has happened behind closed doors at IRS Appeals can now be on the record, and can be made available to the public by the person recording it.
2) IGNORE what the Tax Court said, and forever have a clear example of how the IRS does NOT consider Tax Court rulings to be binding.
See the predicament?
"So Mr. Appeals Guy, let me get this straight. You say that it's 'frivolous' for me to even mention Section 861, because of a ruling by the Tax Court--the same court that told you to allow me to record this meeting... but you didn't. So what the Tax Court says matters, except when it's in my favor? Is that about right?"
If they ever get to Appeals with me, that should be fun.