Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tax Court Rules Cancellation of Debt Not Income

In the recent case of McCormick v Commissioner, the Tax Court held for the IRS to determine the amount of cancellation of indebtedness income properly attributed to the taxpayers, the Tax Court must determine the amount of the CitiFinancial and Chase debt that was definite and liquidated.

In this case, the Tax Court found that the IRS could not rely on the Forms 1099-C submitted by CitiFinancial and Chase as evidence of the amount of debt that was definite and liquidated. Section 6201(d) provides that in any court proceeding, if a taxpayer asserts a reasonable dispute with respect to any item of income reported on an information return and has fully cooperated, the IRS shall have the burden of producing reasonable and probative information concerning the deficiency in addition to the information return. In this case the taxpyaers asserted reasonable disputes with respect to the amounts reported by CitiFinancial and Chase. The IRSfailed to produce reasonable and probative information independent of the third-party information returns. Thus, the Tax Court held for the taxpayers.

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