Paul L. Caron

Friday, July 19, 2013

Tax Court: IRS Must Sign Interrogatories Under Oath, Just Like Taxpayers

Tax Court Logo 2Swanson-Flosystems Co. v. Commissioner, No. 27975-11 (July 18, 2013):

On July 3, 2013, petitioner filed a motion "for an order compelling Respondent to provide the signed oath required by T.C. Rule 71(c) in answering Petitioner's First Set of Interrogatories to Respondent." On July 16, 2013, respondent filed a response, to which he attached his responses to the interrogatories. The interrogatory responses end with a paragraph 11 that reads:

11. Pursuant to T.C. Rule 71 all of the above answers are made in good faith and are as complete as possible after a reasonable inquiry of the readily obtainable information.

Paragraph 11 is followed by a conventional signature block. Respondent asserts that the interrogatory responses "are signed in conformance with T.C. Rules 71(a) and (c)."

Rule 71(c) provides, "Each interrogatory shall be answered separately and fully under oath". (Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. sec. 1746 this requirement may be satisfied by an "unsworn declaration" made under penalty of perjury.) Respondent's interrogatory responses were not made under oath (i.e., they are not accompanied by any notarization or similar document indicating that they were sworn before someone authorized to take an oath), and they were not made under penalty of perjury. The responses therefore do not comply with Rule 71(c). It is therefore.

ORDERED that petitioner's motion to compel filed July 3, 2013, is granted.

It is further ORDERED that, no later than July 31, 2013, respondent shall serve on petitioner responses to interrogatories that are made "under oath" (or pursuant to 28 U.S.C. sec. 1746).

(Signed) David Gustafson

(Hat Tip: Bob Kamman.)

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Dumb commentary.

Posted by: Anon | Jul 20, 2013 7:36:34 AM

Finally. Too often bureaucrats exploiting laws and power have made life miserable for law-abiding citizens with impunity and no oversight or accountability.

We always get the names and pictures of the victims, yet the perps are allowed to hide behind institutional anonymity. No more.

Posted by: Maria | Jul 19, 2013 2:43:11 PM

My guess would be their attorney: Peter L. Milinkovich.

Posted by: Brian | Jul 19, 2013 11:58:50 AM

How dare you compel the government to observe the same standards that they insist we observe.
Where will this end?
Oh, the Humanity!

Posted by: askeptic | Jul 19, 2013 11:39:01 AM

Hey! Govt bureaucrats always tell the truth and only the truth, right? [Of course, if none of them actually ever gets punished for perjury then it really doesn't make a difference, does it?]

Posted by: JorgXMckie | Jul 19, 2013 10:54:07 AM

The taxpayers are getting a bit uppity, aren't they? I wonder who thought the motion up?

Posted by: Duncan Frissell | Jul 19, 2013 10:05:39 AM