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Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Another Nut

Annie W. Nebres is a nut-case tax protester challenging liability for taxes at hearing on collection. Tax Court allowed the collection. Tax Court also said that the Appeals Officer's refusal to consider frivolous arguments do not constitute a refusal to permit Nebres to contest her underlying tax liability. I think this is wrong. Frivolous arguments should be penalized, but only after they have been considered. To refuse to consider them because they are frivolous is to pre-judge their frivolity. To analogize this to criminal law, it like saying that criminals do not deserve trials. Rather, it is people accused of being criminals who deserve trials, the point of which is to determine whether or not they are in fact criminals. Tax Court's frustration with these people is understandable, but would it really have been to difficult given legitimate questions as to whether her arguments were frivolous, to simply consider them on the merits, which would simply involve cutting and pasting from other tax protester opinions?

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