Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Back Taxes: The Tax Court determined that the IRS made excessive interrogatories and motions in Richard L. Clark v. Commissioner, TC Memo. 2007-172, July 2, 2007.

IRS interrogatories contained eight pages of "definitions" and "instructions" and were, in effect, directions to require petitioner to lay out his case in writing rather than simple questions such as those anticipated by Rule 71. See Pleier v. Commissioner, 92 T.C. 499 (1989). Such interrogatories are particularly inappropriate against a pro se petitioner and were unnecessary in this case because petitioner's compliance with other Rules and the standing pretrial order would have supplied the information that respondent needed. Moreover, the interrogatories apparently motivated petitioner to give evasive answers to respondent's poorly phrased requests for admissions and to refuse to admit to the items of income identified in the statutory notice and in the requests for admissions. Thus, respondent's motions to compel answers to interrogatories and to review the sufficiency of the responses to the requests for admissions were denied.

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