Tax Court in Brief | Golditch v. Commissioner | Collection Due Process and Frivolous Arguments

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The Tax Court in Brief – March 28th – April 1st, 2022

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Tax Litigation:  The Week of March 28, 2022, through April 1, 2022

Golditch v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2022-26 | March 29, 2022 |Lauber, J. | Dkt. No. 7726-20L

Short Summary: Jason Golditch—a “serial non-filer”—challenged collection for deficiencies determined by the IRS through “substitute for returns” prepared by the IRS for tax years 2011 and 2012. Based on the tax liability thereby determined, the IRS sent various notices of federal tax liens and rights to a hearing. In response, Golditch did not request a hearing, and he did not petition the Tax Court for regress. Years later (2019), the IRS sent a levy notice, and Golditch requested a collection due process (CDP) hearing, claiming that he did not receive earlier notices of deficiency. Golditch then failed to provide any of the forms requested by the IRS and he did not call in to the telephone conference as scheduled. A “last chance” letter was sent to Golditch, and he did nothing in response. A notice of determination upholding the levy notice was issued, and Golditch petitioned the Tax Court, claiming that he did not receive prior notices and challenging the underlying tax liability.

Primary Holdings: 

Key Points of Law:   

Insights: This is a case that demonstrates the age-old mantra: The law helps those who help themselves–the vigilant, rarely the sleeping, and never the acquiescent.  Ignoring IRS notices is not an advisable course of action. And, taxpayers should refrain from taking frivolous positions in CDP proceedings. What is “frivolous” might be in the eyes of the beholder, based on the facts and circumstances of the case. However, the IRS has issued—and taxpayers should be aware of—notices on positions that the IRS deems are frivolous. See I.R.S. Notice 2010-33, 2010-17 I.R.B. 609. By taking a frivolous position, the taxpayer then sets himself or herself up for additional penalty of up to $25,000, which is determined by the discretion of the Tax Court. It is also advisable to avoid that.