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Wednesday, April 09, 2003


CARL STUART BRANDON AND ANN STUART BRANDON disputed collection on deficiencies arising from 2 different tax years. The Brandons filed an amended return for 1991, claiming an $8,742 overpayment credit, and then later signed a Form 3363, Acceptance of Proposed Disallowance of Claim for Refund or Credit, thinking that the form was part of an overall settlement of their taxes from 1991 through 1994, and that the �disallowed� credit would be applied to their 1993 taxes. They were wrong, and their unilateral mistake does not void the Acceptance of Proposed Disallowance.

Lesson: Never rely on an �understanding� with the IRS. Get it in writing, or don�t sign anything.

The Brandons also claimed to have never received refunds claimed their 1995 and 1996 tax returns, and sent a letter to the IRS asking that the refunds be applied to their 1997 taxes. But because they did not produce sufficient substantiation of their estimated tax payments in the previous years, Tax Court ruled against them on this issue as well. Tax Court also took the opportunity to several times refer snidely to these pro se taxpayers� incorrect use of the term �backup withholding� to refer to the IRS not sending the claimed refunds for 1995 and 1996. This is a courtroom for tax professionals, not taxpayers.

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