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Thursday, May 15, 2003

What Does It Take for the IRS Not to be Subatantially Justified?

After the IRS conceded before trial that Allen R. Krawczyk is indeed entitled to HoH filing status, exemptions and credits for his two kids, and the EITC, he moved for litigation costs. Okay, so asking for $448,010.78 was undoubtable outside the range of the justifiable, and he did neglect to respond to some inquiries from the IRS. But after the first 30 letter, Krawczyk did send the IRS copies of several utility bills, Social Security cards for himself and his two kids, and two letters from a school stating that the kids resided with him. I will concede that he should have answered questions about his marital status before the IRS was not substantially justified on the HoH issue, but why did they need more information about his payment of support for the kids for the exemptions and credits? Didn't he offer enough to justify a presumption favoring those issues? Not to Tax Court, and Krawczyk received no litigation costs.

This is particularly disheartening to me, because I have considered the possibility of striking out on my own with this business model: Represent poor people in conflict with the IRS pro bono, then use the most recent EAJA type legislation to collect fees from the government. However from my work with poor now, I know that most of the work you have to do is help them gather end properly present the information that helps their case. Apparently, under these rules, the clock would not start ticking for me to get paid until after I have done all of that.

So apparently, I cannot afford to help poor taxpayers, even with the new EAJA-type rules.

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