Tax Court in Brief | Larochelle v. Commissioner | Unreported IRA Distribution and Reliance on Professional

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The Tax Court in Brief – July 11th – July 15th, 2022

Freeman Law’s “The Tax Court in Brief” covers every substantive Tax Court opinion, providing a weekly brief of its decisions in clear, concise prose.

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Tax Litigation:  The Week of July 11th, 2022, through July 15th, 2022

Larochelle v. Commissioner, T.C. Summary Opinion 2022-12 | July 12, 2022 | Leyden | Dkt. 10416-20S

Short Summary: The IRS found a deficiency in the Petitioners’ tax return and issued a notice of deficiency. Petitioners filed for a redetermination pursuant to IRC Section 6213(a). Ultimately, they conceded the deficiency and challenged only an accuracy-related penalty of approximately $10,000.00. To prepare their returns, Petitioners did nothing more than provide documents to their tax professional. Between their two residences, the Petitioners’ lost a Form 1099-R for a $238,000 distribution from an IRA. This income went unreported and led to a CP2000 notice to which Petitioners did not respond. After receiving a notice of deficiency, Petitioners paid the deficiency in full an requested the abatement of an accuracy-related penalty. The IRS denied the request.

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Key Points of Law

Insights Taxpayers with multiple residences should implement a process to ensure they receive all important financial and tax information. Separately of tax information forms, taxpayers should keep records of their income and review their tax returns to ensure that all relevant income is reported, regardless of the hiring of a tax return preparer. Before challenging accuracy-related penalties in Court, taxpayers should seriously evaluate the probable total cost of litigation against the chances of a reasonable cause finding, given the facts and circumstances of the underreporting. If challenging a penalty based on the non-receipt of payment information such as a 1099, generally, the challenge will fail. The standard required to prove reasonable cause or good faith in an underreporting mistake is more rigorous the more sophisticated the taxpayer.