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The petitioner resided in Hawaii with his common law wife.  He claimed a dependency deduction for her as she was listed as his common law wife on their return.  The IRS stipulated to an "affidavit of dependency" that she signed in which she said that during the tax year in question that she lived in the petitioner's home, had gross income of less than $3,500, and that the petitioner provided more than 50% of her support.  The court accepted the affidavit as evidence of the petitioner being entitled to the dependency deduction.  Shimanek v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-165.


The petitioners, a married couple, was deemed not be in the real estate sales business with a profit intent for the years at issue based on an analysis of multiple factors.  The court also determined that the petitioners did not substantiate their expenses for their deductions claimed on Schedule C.  Pouemi v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-161.


The petitioner received payments under a divorce agreement and claimed that they constituted alimony.  However, the payments were not terminated upon death as required by I.R.C. Sec. 71(b)(1)(D).  Thus, the payments did not constitute alimony.  Crabtree v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-163.


The decedent made taxable gifts during life, but failed to pay the associated gift tax.  Upon death, the estate did not pay the gift tax either.  The IRS claimed that the donees of the gifts owed the gift tax and interest on the gifts.  The donees argued that the interest on the gift tax was limited to the value of the gift to any particular done under I.R.C. Sec. 6324(b).  The court agreed that the interest on the gift cannot exceed the amount of the gift.  United States v. Marshall, No. 12-20804, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS14584 (5th Cir. Aug. 19, 2015), aff'g in part and rev'g in part, In re Marshall, 721 F.3d 1032 (9th Cir. 2013) and withdrawing 771 F.3d 854 (5th Cir. 2014).


The petitioner and wife bought an annuity in 2003 with proceeds they received from selling securities that triggered a $158,000 capital loss.  The annuity was purchased for $228,800 and additional contributions of $346,154 were made through 2006.  In 2007, the petitioner entered into an I.R.C. Sec. 1035 exchange for a different annuity with a start date of Feb. 3, 2047.  In 2010, the petitioner and wife withdrew $525,000 from the annuity to buy their current home.  At the time of the withdrawal, the cash value of the annuity was $761,256 with accrued earnings of $186,302.  The petitioner was issued a Form 1099R showing a taxable distribution of $186,302.  The petitioner did not report the taxable amount of the distribution, claiming instead that the income on the contract arose from capital gains incurred in the annuity that offset the capital loss and also because they hadn't made any money on the contract.  The court upheld the IRS position that the petitioner had "earned" $186,302 on the invested funds.  The court also imposed a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty and a 20 percent accuracy related penalty.  Tobias v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-164.


The petitioner was a sole proprietor landscaper that claimed an interest expense deduction on Schedule C.  IRS denied the deduction and the court agreed.  The petitioner failed to show a business purpose for the loans at issue, and his logs were not credible because they didn't show the purpose of the travel, time spent or amount of expense.  Ocampo v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-150.

 


I.R.C. Sec. 6035 was added to the Code by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Improvement Act of 2015 (STVHCIA).  Section 6035 specifies that a decedent's estate that is required to file Form 706 after July 31, 2015, must provide basis information to the IRS and estate beneficiaries by the earlier of 30 days after the date Form 706 was required to be filed (including extensions, if granted) or 30 days after the actual date of filing of Form 706  However, the STVHCIA allowed IRS to move the filing deadline forward and the IRS did move the date forward to February 29, 2016 for statements that would be due before that date under the 30-day rule contained in the STVHCIA.  IRS stated that executors and other persons are not to file or furnish basis information statements until the IRS issues forms or additional guidance.  Relatedly, the STVCIA modifies I.R.C. Sec. 1014(f) to require beneficiaries to limit basis claimed on inherited property to either the value of the property as finally determined for federal estate tax purposes, or the value reported to the IRS and beneficiary under I.R.C. Sec. 6035.  I.R.S. Notice 2015-57. 

 


In 2003, an LLC bought oil and gas properties from another corporation and asked the corporate executives to manage the wells.  The executives, which included the defendant, founded a limited partnership to manage exploration and production of the properties.  The LLC loaned made a $6 million non-recourse loan to the LP for working capital.  Ultimately, the LP wound up with a 20 percent interest in the sale revenue after the LLC recovered expenses and had a 10 percent return on investment.  the LP partners limited tied their salaries to profits such that if the LLC earned nothing the partners did not have any profit.  The LP arranged for the LLC to sell the properties with the LP's interest being approximately $20 million which it reported as ordinary income.  Two years later, the LP filed an amended return reporting the $20 million as capital gain resulting from the sale of a partnership interest.  Amended K-1s were issued to the partners, including the defendant.  IRS issued refunds, but then later changed its mind and asserted that the income ordinary in nature as compensation for services rendered.  The issue before the court was whether the LP had a profits interest for services, or whether the relationship with the LLC meant that the arrangement was compensation for services provided in arranging the sale of the oil and gas properties (i.e., a commission for sale).  The IRS claimed that a partnership did not exist for tax purposes because the entity agreement disclaimed the existence of a partnership, the LLC contributed the funds and controlled the funds, owned the assets and the LP was not at risk.  The IRS also argued that the LP was a mere contract employee.  The LP claimed that it was a partnership for tax purposes and that it had exchanged the partners time and talent for a profit share.  The court determined that the LP was a partnership for tax purposes based on the objective facts of the parties' relationship and ownership interest in the value of the oil and gas operation.  Thus, because a partnership interest is a capital asset, the resulting income from the sale is capital gain.  The IRS did not argue that the LP partners had actually received a partnership interest for services which would result in ordinary income when the interest was issued.  United States v. Stewart, et al., No. H-10-294, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110055 (S.D. Tex. Aug. 20, 2015).         


The IRS declined to determine whether the subsidiary of a taxpayer was an eligible agricultural business in the trade or business of distributing specified agricultural chemicals under I.R.C.  Sec. 450(e)(2).  The IRS determined that the issue was inherently factual.  Tech. Adv. Memo. 201532034 (May 13, 2015).


I.R.C. Secs. 6426(a) and (c) allow a taxpayer that blends biodiesel to claim a $1/gallon credit under I.R.C. Sec. 4081.  Also, I.R.C. Sec. 6426(e) provides for a $.50/gallon credit for a taxpayer that blends alternative fuel.  The credits expired for sales and uses after 2013, but TIPRA of 2014 extended them through 2014.  In this Notice, the IRS specified that taxpayers claiming the credits submit all claims for 2014 biodiesel and alternative fuel credits on a single Form 8849.  To the extent the credits reduce the claimant's fuel tax liability, the credits produce an income tax addback by reducing the excise tax deduction that the taxpayer can claim as part of its cost of goods sold or any other relevant tax income tax deduction.  That addback is to be done on a quarterly basis in accordance with the biodiesel or alternative fuel mixture sold or used during the quarter.  The credits are treated for 2014 as if they had never expired.  IRS Notice 2015-56, IRB 2015-35.


The plaintiff was criminally charged with violating the defendant's municipal ordinance banning horses from residential property.  An initial complaint against the plaintiff was triggered by neighbors complaining of excessive manure from a horse and other animals on the plaintiff's property.  Ultimately, the plaintiff removed all of the farm animals from her property except one miniature horse which she kept as a service animal for her disabled minor daughter.  In early 2013, the defendant passed an ordinance which amended the defendant's municipal code to "prohibit the keeping of farm animals at residences within the city."  The ordinance specifically applied to horses except where authorized by federal, state or local law.  The plaintiff, after a complaint was made anonymously, was asked to remove her horse from the property.  The plaintiff complied, but the horse later reappeared at the plaintiff's property.  The plaintiff was cited for the ordinance violation and fined.  The plaintiff was tried on both citations and defended herself on the basis that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) allowed her to keep the horse for her daughter's therapy as a service animal.  The plaintiff moved to dismiss the citations, which the Municipal court denied and found the plaintiff guilty on both citations.  The Municipal court did not impose a fine for either conviction and the plaintiff did not appeal.  The plaintiff then later sued the defendant for alleged violation of her rights under the ADA and the FHAA, and that the 2013 ordinance was enacted with animus against her daughter in violation of the ADA and the FHAA.  The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the trial court granted the motion on the grounds that the plaintiff's claims were barred by claim and issue preclusion based on her Municipal Court convictions.  On appeal, the court reversed.  The appellate court said the Municipal court proceedings had no preclusive effect.  While the court held that there was no evidence that the defendant's actions were motivated by discriminatory intent against the plaintiff's daughter, there remained significant factual disputes regarding whether the ADA or FHAA allowed the defendant to keep the miniature horse.  Anderson v. City of Blue Ash, No. 14-3754, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14293 (6th Cir. Aug. 14, 2015).   


The plaintiffs, a hog farmer and two activist groups with hog farmers as members claimed that the National Pork Board (NPB) misappropriated funds raised via the Pork Checkoff (assessed at the rate of $.40 per $100 value of pigs sold or when pigs or pork products are imported into the U.S.).   The NPB is a quasi-governmental entity  that administers the "Pork Order" which implements the Pork Act (7 U.S.C. Sec. 4801-19) which is designed to promote pork in the marketplace.  The NPB conducts, among other things, consumer information campaigns designed to stimulate pork product sales.  In 2006, the NPB bought four trademarks associated with the slogan "Pork:  The Other White Meat" from the National Pork Producers Council for $60 million, to be paid in annual installments of $3 million for 20 years.  The NPB can terminate the payments at any time with a year's notice with the ownership of the phrase then reverting to the NPPC.  In 2011, the NPB replaced the slogan with a new motto, "Pork:  Be Inspired."  The NPB retained the initial slogan as a "heritage brand" but does not feature it in its advertising.  The plaintiffs claimed that the NPB bought the slogan with the purpose of funding the NPPC to keep it in business and support the NPPC's lobbying efforts in violation of the Pork Act, that the NPB overpaid for the slogan and that the new slogan makes the initial one worthless.  The plaintiffs sued the USDA under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) seeking to enjoin the NPB from making further payments to the NPPC and directing the USDA to "claw back" any payments possible from the deal.  The trial court dismissed the case for lack of standing.  The court determined that the hog farmer plaintiff could not show any injury in fact, and that the activist organizations could not sue in their own right or on behalf of their hog-producer members.  On appeal, the court reversed.  The court reasoned that the hog farmer had standing because he formulated a "concrete and particularized" injury via his return on investment being diminished by the annual $3 million payments and that he alleged facts that plausibly showed that the mark was worth less than $60 million, and that the NPB's purchase of the slogan was not negotiated at arm's length and that the NPPC and the NPB are intertwined with the NPPC lobbying for passage of the Pork Act and proposing the text that serves as the foundation for the Pork Order.  In addition, the NPPC was instrumental in developing the initial slogan.  A 1999 report USDA Inspector General Audit concluded that the NPB had put the NPPC in a position to exert undue influence over NPB budgets and grant proposals.  In addition, the hog farmer plaintiff also alleged facts that plausibly showed that the initial slogan is no longer worth $3 million annually.  The court did not rule on whether the other plaintiffs had standing.  The court also refused to uphold dismissal of the case for failure to exhaust administrative remedies because the plaintiffs merely wanted to make the USDA Secretary comply with the Pork Act and Order.  The court remanded the case.  Humane Society of the United States, et al. v. Vilsack, No. 13-5293, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14271 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 14, 2015).   


A partnership can consent to allow the IRS to extend the statute of limitations by signing Form 872-P.  Normally, the Form would have to be signed by a designated tax matters partner.  However, in this case, the signer was no the designated tax matters partner.  The court held that the signature was effective to allow the statute of limitations to be extended because the signer had apparent authority and the IRS was reasonable in believing that the signer had the authority to act on the partnership's behalf.  The signed had also signed the partnership's tax return and was a managing member.  Summit Vineyard Holdings, LLC, et al. v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-140.


The petitioner, a lawyer who practiced tax law, donated a permanent conservation easement on 80 percent of a 74-acre parcel to a qualified land trust.  The land was subject to a mortgage at the time of the donation and the mortgage was not subordinated until two years after the petitioner received a statutory notice of deficiency from the  IRS.  The petitioner argued that the state (ID) Uniform Conservation Easement Act protected the charitable use of the property, but the Tax Court noted that the Act would have only protected whatever interest remained after the lender was satisfied.  The Tax Court noted that the subordination agreement had to be in place at the time of the grant of the conservation easement.  The Tax Court upheld the imposition of a negligence penalty.  The appellate court affirmed.  The court held that Treas. Reg. Sec. 1.170A-14(g)(2) clearly required the subordination agreement to be in place at the time of the easement grant for the donor to claim a tax deduction for the value of the contributed easement.  The court noted that an easement cannot be deemed to be "in perpetuity" if it is subject to extinguishment at essentially any time by a mortgage holder who was not party to or aware of the agreement between the taxpayer and the donee.  Minnick, et al. v. Comr., No. 13-73234, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14097 (9th Cir. Aug. 12, 2015), affn'g., T.C. Memo. 2012-345.     


In response to increased identity fraud instances, the IRS has announced that it is shortening the time period for extending certain information returns by eliminating the automatic 30-day extension option that is available for Form W-2s.  IRS will adopt a single non-automatic extension.  The IRS has removed Treas. Reg. Sec. 1.6081-8 and is adding Temp. Treas. Reg. Sec. 1.6081-8T.  The IRS has also published proposed regulations that would make permanent the changed contained in Temp. Treas. Reg. Sec. 1.6081-8T.  The new rule will also apply in the future to other information returns.  The new rule is effective for Forms W-2 due after 2016, and other information returns due on or after January 1 of the year the regulations are adopted as final, or if later, those due on or after January 1, 2018.  T.D. 9780.


The petitioner operated a medical marijuana dispensary in West Hollywood, CA.  Federal Drug Enforcement Agency agents raided the dispensary and seized $600,000 worth of marijuana.  The petitioner, for the year at issue, reported $1,700,000 of gross sales and $1,429,614 in cost of goods sold.  The petitioner is entitled to deduct the cost of goods sold, but cannot deduct any other operating costs.  The petitioner claimed to have included the $600,000 amount in both gross sales and cost of goods sold.  However, the petitioner could not substantiate any of the income or deduction items and was not entitled to reduce his reported sales amount by the $600,000 he included in cost of goods sold.  In addition, the petitioner could not claim an I.R.C. Sec. 165 loss for the seized marijuana because I.R.C. Sec. 280A bars a deduction for any amount incurred in connection with trafficking in a controlled substance.  The court upheld the imposition of an accuracy-related penalty.  Beck v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-149.


The petitioner listed his business on his tax return as "World Travel Guide" and showed a net business loss of $39,138.  As he traveled, the petitioner blogged about his travels and hoped to profit from income generated via affiliate sales from the blog.  When that didn't pan out, the petitioner shifted to writing books about his travels.  The IRS disallowed the loss under the hobby loss rules of I.R.C. Sec. 183.  The court agreed with the IRS, noting that the petitioner did not maintain books or records, had no written business plan, no estimate as to when his website would be operational or when he would begin to earn money from the activity.  Pingel v. Comr., T.C. Sum. Op. 2015-48.


The petitioner, a schoolteacher, also owned and managed various real estate rental properties on which he lost money in 2005-2007.  The petitioner claimed the losses were fully deductible because he satisfied the tests to be a real estate professional contained in I.R.C. Sec. 469(c)(7)(B) - more than fifty percent of his personal services for the years in question were spent in real property trades or business and he spent more than 750 hours each year in rental activities.  While the petitioner's logs showed that he satisfied both tests, the court found the logs to not be credible.  The petitioner did not include any "off-site" time as his teacher hours, and exaggerated his time on rental activities, including work for certain days on rental activities exceeding 24 hours.  Escalante v. Comr., T.C. Sum. Op. 2015-47.


The petitioner was an accountant that provided tax return preparation services to clients.  In addition to an office in town, the petitioner also met with clients at their businesses or homes and then did accounting work for them out of her residences.  For the years in issue, the petitioner rented out one residence to a friend and also occasionally stayed there overnight.  The petitioner claimed business-related deductions for both of her homes which the IRS denied.  The court upheld the IRS position on the basis that the taxpayer did not satisfy the principal place of business test and also because the petitioner did not use the home as a place to meet clients or customers and did not have a separate structure or part of the home set aside for business use.  Instead, the taxpayer had an office in town - another fixed location where she could perform substantial administrative or management activities.  The court also disallowed deduction for alleged business autos on the grounds that the petitioner could not show that she either owned or leased the vehicles in question.  Sheri Flying Hawk v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-139.


In late 2013, the Obama Administration, as requested by the wind energy industry, announced that it would allow certain wind energy companies to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty.  The Department of the Interior developed a rule modifying the existing 5-year "eagle-take" rule with a 30-year rule allowing wind energy companies to obtain 30-year permits to kills golden and bald eagles without prosecution by the federal government.  The court invalidated the rule, citing a lack of compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.  The court determined that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had failed to show an adequate basis in the record for deciding not to prepare an environmental impact statement (as required by NEPA) or an environmental assessment before adopting the 30-year rule.  The court invalidated the rule and remanded to the FWS "for further consideration."  Shearwater, et al. v. Ashe, et al., No. 14CV02830LHK, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106277 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 11, 2015).


A father and his son operated a farm.  The son's daughter had a 12-year birthday (sleepover) party at the farm and invited her friends to attend.  The day after the sleepover, a 10-year friend of the daughter and the daughter took turns riding the farm's ATV on the farm over several hours.  The girls did not ask permission and were never told they could operate the ATV.  The father and son both saw the girls operating the ATV and did not stop them from doing so, but the grandfather told his granddaughter that both of the girls needed to slow down.  While both girls were on the ATV, the ATV struck a tree and the 10-year-old friend was killed.  The father and son were sued for wrongful death and the father and son sought coverage under their policy with the plaintiff which provided $300,000 in coverage.  The insurance company reserved its right to dispute coverage and filed a declaratory judgment action claiming that the policy did not provide coverage for the little girl's death.  The wrongful death action settled for $462,500.  The trial court held that the exclusionary clause in the policy that excluded coverage for "any person operating [an ATV] with 'your' express permission" did not apply because the girls did not receive express permission.  The policy did not define the term "express permission" and the court gave it its plain and ordinary meaning, and noted that the facts clearly indicated that the girls were operating the ATV only with tacit or implied permission.  The trial court granted summary judgment for the insureds.  Not satisfied with that result, the plaintiff appealed.  However, the appellate court affirmed.  The court noted that the policy did not define "express permission" and that the trial court was correct in applying the plain and ordinary meaning to the phrase.  The appellate court harshly scolded the plaintiff when it stated, "Grinnell's arguments suggesting the district court erred 'are the complaints of a poor draftsman, and we are as unsympathetic as we expect the [Minnesota courts] would be....It's not our role to rescue an insurer from its own drafting decisions."'  Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co. v. Villanueva, No. 14-2933, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14017 (8th Cir. Aug. 11, 2015), aff'g., 37 F. Supp. 3d 1043 (D. Minn. 2014).   


The taxpayer paid the state (WA) excise tax on marijuana and questioned how to account for it for tax purposes.  The IRS noted that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance, but that the last sentence of I.R.C. Sec. 164(a) allows state-level taxes that are incurred in a trade or business or in an income-producing activity and that are connected with the acquisition or disposition of property to be capitalized.  As such, the state excise tax on marijuana could treat the payment for the tax as a reduction in the amount realized on the sale of property instead of as either a part of the inventoriable cost of the property or a deduction from gross income.  C.C.A. 201531016 (Jun. 9, 2015).


The petitioner chartered boats and entered into a management agreement with another organization that was responsible for marketing boats, setting charter prices, booking charters, maintaining records, collecting money and cleaning and maintaining the boats.  The petitioner was paid "net charter revenue," and the petitioner paid the organization a "turnaround fee" for each charter.  The petitioner also had the use of each of his two boats for two, two-week periods annually, paying for various expenses.  The activity encountered a loss, and the issue was whether the petitioner could satisfy the material participation test of Treas. Reg. Sec. 1.469-5T(a)(3)(the "more than others" test - more than 100 hours with more participation in the activity than anyone else).  The petitioner (and spouse) reconstructed their time to show 470 hours for one year and 732.5 hours in the activity for another year.  While the 470 was less than the 500 hours required by Treas. Reg. Sec. 1.469-5T(a)(1), but did meet the 100 hour test.  The petitioner was able to establish that their hours exceeded the hours of any other person in the activity.  Kline v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-144.      


In 2009, the EPA began developing various rules that would negatively impact U.S. coal production.  One of those rules, the Cross-State Air Pollution rule, imposed a cap-and-trade style program that expanded limitations on sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from coal-fired power plants in 28 "upwind" states.  EPA claimed to have authority to cap emissions that supposedly traveled across state lines.  However, in 2012, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated the rule on the basis that, while the Clean Air Act (CAA) grants the EPA authority to require upwind states to reduce their own significant contributions to a downwind state's non-attainment, the rule could impermissibly require upwind states to reduce emissions by more than their own significant contributions to a downwind state's non-attainment.  The court also held that the EPA failed to allow states the initial chance (as required by statute) to implement any required reductions to in-state sources by quantifying a state's obligations and establishing federal implementation plans.  Indeed, the EPA admitted that the rule would cost the private sector $2.7 billion and force numerous coal-fired power plants to shut down.  However, on further review, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed in a 6-2 decision (Alito not participating).  The Court held that the CAA did not require the states to be given a second opportunity to file a state implementation plan after the EPA has quantified a state's interstate pollution obligations.  The Court also determined that the EPA had properly developed a "cost-effective" allocation of emission reductions among upwind states.  The dissent pointed out that the statute precisely specified the responsibility of upwind states - to eliminate the amount of pollutants that it contributes to downwind problem areas rather than achieve reductions on the basis of how cost-effectively each state can decrease emissions.  However, the Court agreed with the Circuit Court that certain "as-applied" challenges to the emissions reductions that EPA imposed on upwind states were legitimate and remanded on that issue.  The dissent also pointed out that the Court's decision allows unelected bureaucrats to develop plans to implement air-quality standards before a state could have satisfied the benchmarks established in the plans on their own.  On remand, the D.C. Circuit granted several challenges, thereby invalidating the 2014 CO2 emissions budgets imposed on AL, GA, SC and TX, and the 2014 ozone-season NOx budgets for FL, MD, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, SC TX, VA and WV.  The court rejected other challenges to the EPA rule.  EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 11-1302, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13039, on pet. for review from 134 S. Ct. 1584 (2014). 

 


The petitioners, homosexual domestic partners, had $2.7 million in mortgage debt attributable to two homes that they jointly owned.  More than $2 million of the mortgage debt was associated with an 8,554 square foot home in Beverly Hills that they purchased for $3.2 million in 2002.  One petitioner claimed $194,599 in mortgage interest deduction for the two years at issue which IRS limited to $79,701, and limited the other petitioner to a deduction of $66,558 out of the $162,597 he had paid during the two years.  The IRS approach was to take the mortgage interest debt limit of $1.1 million contained in I.R.C. Sec. 163()(3) and apportion it between the two unmarried owners (based on the average outstanding mortgage balance).  The Tax Court agreed with the IRS, holding that the I.R.C. §163(h)(3) limitations on mortgage interest deductibility are to be applied on a per-mortgage basis rather than on per-individual basis.  As a result, unmarried co-owners, collectively, are limited to an interest deduction of $1.1 million ($1million of acquisition indebtedness and $100,000 of home equity indebtedness).  This is the same result that would apply to married taxpayers that co-own a residence.  On appeal, however, the appellate court reversed.  The court determined that the limitations are to be applied on a per-taxpayer basis (for a total of $2.2 million of mortgage debt).  A dissenting judge pointed out the absurdity of the majority opinion and noted that IRS was reasonable in limiting unmarried taxpayers to deducting the same amount as married taxpayers that file jointly.  Voss v. Comr., No. 12-73257, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13827 (9th Cir. Aug. 7, 2015), rev'g., and remanding sub. nom., Sophy v. Comr., 138 T.C. 204 (2002).


The IRS determined that Treas. Reg. Sec. 301.6231(a)(1)-1 means that any corporation, including those created under state law, that is not an S corporation is deemed to be a C corporation solely for the purpose of applying the small partnership exception to TEFRA.  The TEFRA exception applies to a partnership with 10 or fewer partners, all of whom are individuals or C corporations, absent an affirmative election to be subject to TEFRA.  C.C.A. 201530019 (Jun. 17, 2015).


Idaho law criminalizes (Idaho Code Sec. 18-7042(1)(d)) "interference with agricultural production" when a person knowingly enters an ag production facility without permission or without a court order or without otherwise having the right to do so by statute (in other words, the person is on the premises illegally), and makes a video or audio recording of how the ag operation is conducted.  The court held that the law was unconstitutional because it violates the free speech rights of those wanting to take the illegal videos, and that the law was unconstitutional on equal protection grounds because it singled out persons who sought to take illegal videos.  The court believed that the state had no legitimate interest to provide special protections to certain agricultural enterprises from those groups (such as the plaintiffs) that are devoted to ensuring that they don't exist and have used terroristic tactics in other cases to achieve their goals that have involved charges of ag terrorism under federal law.  Animal Legal Defense Fund, et al. v. Otter, No. 1:14-cv-00104-BLW, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10264 (D. Idaho Aug. 3, 2015). 


CALT does not provide legal advice. Any information provided on this website is not intended to be a substitute for legal services from a competent professional. CALT's work is supported by fee-based seminars and generous private gifts. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material contained on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of Iowa State University.

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