TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Helicopter Pilot Lands In Tax Court, Successfully Establishes That His Tax Home Is In Iraq

Forbes, Helicopter Pilot Lands In Tax Court, Successfully Establishes That Tax Home Is In Iraq

Cowardice, it seems, is not a trait Jesse Linde and I share. A two-time Army helicopter pilot, after struggling to find work in the private sector, Linde jumped at the opportunity to relocate to the Middle East in order to continue flying. To date, he has successfully navigated the many dangers to be found in Iraq, but even halfway across the globe, he couldn't escape one domestic menace: the IRS.

Yesterday, Linde found himself in the Tax Court, and it's a decision that all tax professionals would be wise to review, as it addresses a fascinating area of the law:

Where is a your "tax home?"...

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I am glad Mr. Linde fought the case, because I have seen taxing authorities argue the terms of residence, abode, tax homes, etc. in whatever manner benefits them (and taxpayers do the same, so that is understandable). So I am surprised he won. IRC Sec 911 put in a bright-line test so that people would not argue - meet the test or give it up. Fortunately the definition in IRC Sec. 911(d)(3) of tax home says that "abode" overcomes "tax home." The way I read the case, the court went to a regulation under 911 for support in their conclusion. I appreciate that the court pooh-poohed the IRS assertion that Linde did not intend to retire in Iraq by saying something like evidence doesn't address retirement in the near term. So I wonder if abode will vary based upon actual or potential retirement dates. Complex area of the law.

Posted by: CareforNOLA | Sep 23, 2017 6:20:53 AM

J. Vasquez issued the opinion and he is a fairly pro-taxpayer judge. The result may have been different with a different judge making the fact finding.

Posted by: Chris | Sep 23, 2017 12:08:27 PM