Tax Court in Brief | Kotrides v. Commissioner | Collection Due Process, Abuse of Discretion, and Summary Judgment

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The Tax Court in Brief – June 27th – July 1st, 2022

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Tax Litigation:  The Week of June 27th, 2022, through July 1st, 2022

Kotrides v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2022-67 | June 28, 2022 | Urda, J.| Dkt. No. 17918-19L


Short Summary: Dino Kotrides did not file his 2014 federal income tax return. So, the IRS prepared a substitute for return for him. The IRS sent Kotrides a notice of deficiency. He did not file a petition to challenge the notice. The IRS assessed federal income tax, additions to tax, and statutory interest. Years later, and to collect, the IRS filed and sent to Kotrides, a notice of federal tax lien (NFTL). Kotrides timely requested a collection due process (CDP) hearing, expressing his interest in a lien discharge. The case was assigned to a settlement officer (SO) in the Independent Office of Appeals, who scheduled a telephone CDP hearing. The SO requested that Kotrides provide his 2015–18 federal income tax returns (which he had not filed), proof of any estimated tax payments, and a completed Form 433-A, Collection Information Statement for Wage Earners and Self-Employed Individuals. Kotrides provided no information in response. The SO gave additional time to produce. But, Kotrides produced nothing. The Office of Appeals sustained the NFTL filing and confirmed compliance with the requirements of applicable law and administrative procedure and that Kotrides proposed no collection alternatives. In the Tax Court, Kotrides claimed that his tax liability stemmed from his misapprehension that he was not required to file a return. The IRS filed a motion for summary judgment. Kotrides did not respond, despite being given additional time and a chance to obtain pro bono counsel.

Key Issues:

Primary Holdings:

Key Points of Law:

Insights:  Dino Kotrides did not respond to the IRS’s motion for summary judgment. If a taxpayer fails to respond to a motion for summary judgment, the Tax Court may enter decision against the taxpayer for that reason alone. See Rule 121(d). Kotrides did not provide information requested by the SO. Kotrides did not file subsequent federal income tax returns. Kotrides did not request extensions of time to respond to information requests. Kotrides did not take the opportunity to receive pro bono counsel. In summary: The law helps those who help themselves—the vigilant, rarely the sleeping, and never the acquiescent.