Sunday, February 4, 2007
Following up on Thursday's post about the Tax Court's decision in the long-running Ballard, Kanter and Lisle saga (Kanter v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2007-21): David Cay Johnston reports on the case in the Sunday New York Times: Court Upholds Evasion Ruling in a Tax Case:
The federal tax court has ruled in favor of the Internal Revenue Service in a 14-year-old evasion case involving a now-dead lawyer who was one of the nation’s leading tax advisers, millions of dollars in reported real estate kickbacks and a Supreme Court ruling that ended a longstanding practice of secrecy in tax court. In the decision last week, Judge Harry A. Haines of the United States Tax Court ruled that the lawyer, Burton W. Kanter, and two associates had accepted kickbacks from the Pritzker family of Chicago, which owns the Hyatt hotels, and then evaded taxes on the payments.
Lawyers for the three said they were stunned by the decision and would appeal it, expecting it to go to the Supreme Court for a second time. They said the decision ran counter to the findings of a special trial judge who heard the case in 1994. That judge, they said, determined that small amounts of tax were due because of technical violations but that there was no civil fraud.