James R. Malone, Jr. – Post & Schell, P.C.

Real Estate Tax Assessments: Ambush by Hearsay Is Not Appropriate.

The SALT arena has a reputation as the Wild West of the tax world. Accordingly, it is nice to see an appellate court remind trial judges that procedural niceties, such as the rules of evidence, apply to tax cases too. This post…more
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Tax Shelters: A Promoter Avoids Penalties Because He Merely Sold an Idea.

Recently, a bankruptcy judge threw out an IRS penalty claim against an individual who had been involved in promoting a tax shelter, concluding that he was only selling an idea, which was not enough to violate the registration…more
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State and Local Taxation: Business Privilege Taxes and the Utility Exception in Pennsylvania.

On May 25th, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued an interesting opinion on the Local Tax Enabling Act, a key statute that authorizes business privilege taxes in most of the Commonwealth. Specifically, the court addressed…more
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Worker Classification: Homecare Provider Demonstrated Reasonable Basis for Classification of Companions as Independent Contractors.

Recently, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an interesting decision under Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 in a worker classification case. The business, which provided home…more
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Tax Accounting: The Third Circuit Looks at the All Events Test.

This post covers a recent ruling by the Third Circuit applying the all events test to a customer loyalty program that offered a taxpayer-friendly result…more
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Conservation Easements: Almost Is Not Good Enough.

This post covers a recent Tax Court opinion on conservation easements that nicely illustrates how carefully the documentation must be prepared to track the relevant regulations…more
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Culture Counts: A Community Theater Qualifies as a Purely Public Charity.

In Pennsylvania, property tax exemptions have generated a significant volume of litigation, and a number of cases have yielded seemingly anomalous results. Last week, the Commonwealth Court issued an interesting opinion, ruling…more
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Horse Sense: The Seventh Circuit Looks at the Hobby Loss Rules.

This post covers a recent (and entertaining) opinion from the Seventh Circuit on the hobby loss rules…more
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Tax Procedure: The Tax Court Confirms that the IRS Can Raise New Issues.

Earlier this week, the Tax Court confirmed that the IRS is free to raise new issues in a deficiency action, so long as it is prepared to bear the burden of proof. The court rejected a novel but interesting argument that the…more
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Tax Procedure: The Federal Priority Statute Does Not Apply to Tax Liens.

A very old statute appears to give the United States a priority over creditors in state insolvency proceedings and beneficiaries of an insolvent estate. While it does not come up often, a district judge in Michigan looked at the…more
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Tax Procedure: A Look at Summons Enforcement Proceedings.

Earlier this month, the Eleventh Circuit wrote what is likely the last word on the long-running Clarke case, which involved assertions that the IRS acted in bad faith in issuing summonses to taxpayers. The case is both…more
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Tax Exempt Organizations: The Identity of Applicants for Tax-Exempt Status is Not Confidential Return Information Protected under the Internal Revenue Code.

On Tuesday, the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion that was quite critical of the IRS’s position that it could not turn over lists of organizations that had been singled out for special treatment in the “Tea Party” scandal due to…more
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Listen Up: The IRS Must Consider a Pre-Assessment Appeal Before Issuing a Trust Fund Recovery Penalty Assessment.

The Eleventh Circuit recently ruled that the IRS must consider a timely pre-assessment appeal before issuing a trust fund recovery penalty assessment…more
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Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: The Tax Court Takes a Pragmatic Approach to Transfer Pricing Adjustments for a Consolidated Group.

Last week, the Tax Court adopted a relatively pragmatic approach to transfer pricing adjustments in the context of a consolidated return, holding that the IRS did not have to build the case for adjustments from the ground up on…more
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State and Local Taxation: Philadelphia Taxpayers Are Entitled to Open-Ended Credits for Overpayments.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently denied rehearing in a case that held that Philadelphia taxpayers are entitled to a credit on overpayments, even if the limitations period for recovering a refund has expired…more
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