Tuesday, June 28, 2005
The conflict between the original report and the Tax Court decision has prompted some to raise ethical questions about Tax Court procedures and to call on Congress to examine them....
[T]he report is "very different" from the 1999 opinion, said tax scholar Leandra Lederman of the Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington. "Most important, the original report did not find that the taxpayers committed fraud; the opinion did," she emphasized. "These differences are disturbing. They raise questions about what the Tax Court means in Rule 183 cases when it says it 'agrees with and adopts' the findings of the trier of fact. This type of question may undermine confidence in the Tax Court's practices in Rule 183 cases."
See also the follow-up story in the Chicago Tribune, Tax Court's Top Judge Quiet on Fraud Case:
The chief judge of U.S. Tax Court declined on Friday to discuss revelations that call into question the decision-making process of judges who oversee tax disputes between citizens and the IRS. In a brief telephone interview, Joel Gerber, a Chicago native who was appointed to the tax court in 1984 and named chief judge in 2004, said, "No judge will be able to discuss this. There is no way."