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In blackjack, you can double your bet in the middle of a hand, but then you can only draw one more card; this strategy is known as doubling down. Doubling down has acquired a secondary meaning, which is “to become more tenacious, zealous, or resolute in a position or undertaking.”  In this broader context, the wisdom of doubling down will largely depend on the wisdom of your position: If you double down on…
Nullum tempus occurrit regi, sometimes shortened to nullum tempus, is an old principle of common law. The phrase means time will not run against the king, and the point is that he is not subject to statutes of limitations like the rest of us. While we lack a king, the principle remains alive in U.S. law, surfacing recently in a penalty case against a return preparer. Armstrong v. United States, No. 18-CV-06532-LHK, 2019 U.S.…
A title is “an appellation of dignity, honor, distinction, or preeminence attached to a person or family by virtue of rank, office, precedent, privilege, attainment, or lands.” https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/title. Many human beings crave titles because they suggest power and status. Ashley C. Scott is a little different: She recently argued that the title she held meant that she lacked power. Ashley argued that she lacked power because she was the secretary of a corporation controlled…
Commencing in 2015, the IRS established new enforcement initiatives for employment taxes. One initiative has focused on criminal enforcement, resulting in a significant increase in criminal cases against business owners who fail to withhold and to pay over employment taxes. A second initiative has focused on civil injunction actions against businesses that are repeat offenders. The Internal Revenue Code grants jurisdiction to district courts to provide equitable relief in favor of the government: The district…
To enforce the Internal Revenue Code, the IRS has been given broad powers to investigate: For the purpose of ascertaining the correctness of any return, making a return where none has been made, determining the liability of any person for any internal revenue tax or the liability at law or in equity of any transferee or fiduciary of any person in respect of any internal revenue tax, or collecting any such liability, the Secretary is…
It is well known that single-member LLCs are disregarded for tax purposes, unless the owner elects for it to be treated as a corporation. While that is generally true, it proved to be specifically wrong for one taxpayer that operated a charter yacht. DAF Charters, LLC v. Comm’r, No. 21317, 2019 U.S. Tax Ct. LEXIS 15 (May 9, 2019). John Staluppi formed DAF Charters, LLC (“DAF” or the “Taxpayer”), a Florida limited liability company,…
Penalties and their approval have received a lot of attention from the Tax Court recently. The starting point is section 6751(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, which provides “[n]o penalty under this title shall be assessed unless the initial determination of such assessment is personally approved (in writing) by the immediate supervisor of the individual making such determination or such higher level official as the Secretary may designate.” I.R.C. § 6751(b). In March of 2017,…
When a state or local tax is invalidated in Pennsylvania it is typically based upon either the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, art. I, § 8, cl. 3, or the Uniformity Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution, art. VIII, § 1. Last week, however, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania struck down a tax relying primarily on the Fourteenth Amendment, and most of the Court’s members could not decide which part invalidated the tax. Sands
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Many would identify the quotation as the Postal Service motto, but the Postal Service does not have a motto.1 And frankly, its non-motto is not true, as a certain amount of mail simply disappears. Those familiar with Murphy’s Law2 will recognize that the more important the document, the more likely it is…
Eddie Holland, the songwriter, had a good day last week; the Sixth Circuit reversed a district court decision dismissing a wrongful levy action brought by a publishing company that he owned. Gold Forever Music, Inc. v. United States, No. 18-1789, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 10547 (6th Cir. Apr. 10, 2019). Holland is a very successful songwriter who wrote a series of hit songs for the Supremes, including “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” and…