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Wednesday, March 26, 2003


If anyone knows Jill Johnson, who once starred in a television pilot called �The Fantasy Sports Zone�, please let her know that her producer claims he owes her $32,500.

Fredrick Smith, Jr. and Vanessa Smith disputed the IRS�s assessment of $27,330 of unreported income, relating to Fred�s Schedule C business of television and web production. IRS assessed the amount by comparing bank deposits to gross reported receipts. Frank�s business records showed 3 payments from Johnson for producing FSZ. He claimed the middle one was a loan, sealed with a hug. She was willing to do this to help him out because he was in bankruptcy at the time. Had the Smiths had an attorney, the attorney might have pointed out that the Smith�s insolvency would make tax Court less likely to view this as a loan. But they probably would have still lost. The Smiths did submit a letter from Johnson from a couple of years after the fact stating that she had loaned him some money to assist his business. But there was no loan agreement, no promissory note, she had never demanded payment of the principal or interest, the Smiths have never paid any principal or interest on the loan, and the Smiths no longer know how to contact Johnson. Tax Court ruled for the IRS, and also allowed penalties for late filing and accuracy-related penalties.

If Johnson does now show up and demand the money, I wonder if judicial estoppel applies if the first court did not believe you?

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