Missing Links?

BY KENNETH A. WEINSTOCK, CPA

In “Tax Matters: When a Tax Return Is Not a ‘Return’” (Dec. 09, page 73), I believe that you were addressing the specific issue of what is a validly filed return for purposes of Bankruptcy Code § 523(a). While I appreciate your pointing out the Links case, I think that this is an area that has seen litigation with results going both ways regarding late returns.

 

When I read the decision by Judge Speer, I noticed two lines that could lead one to believe that this case was decided primarily based upon the position of the government. At the end of the first paragraph on page 4, it states that the plaintiff (Links) was not represented by legal counsel. The first line on page 9 states, “Having not been presented with any argument to the contrary, the Court finds the conclusion reached in In re Creekmore to be sound.”

 

Creekmore filed his returns after substitute returns had been prepared and filed by the IRS pursuant to IRC § 6020(b). This is specifically excluded from being a validly filed return by the last paragraph of Bankruptcy Code § 523(a). It was not clear in the Links case whether the debtor filed his 2002 tax return after the IRS had filed a substitute return. Equating a late filed return with an unfiled return seems a bit harsh.

 

I think that the result in Links might have been different had Mr. Links hired a competent attorney to represent him.

 

Kenneth A. Weinstock, CPA

Alameda, Calif.

SPONSORED REPORT

Keeping client information safe in an age of scams and security threats

A look at the Dirty Dozen tax scams and ways to protect taxpayer information.

TECHNOLOGY Q&A

How to create maps in Excel 2016

Microsoft Excel 2016 has two new mapping capabilities. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, demonstrates how to make masterful 2D and 3D maps in Excel 2016.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS enforcement, a hot job, and audit value

The IRS’s 2016 Data Book, a “hot job” of particular interest at this time of year, and insight into how executive and audit committees view the insights from financial statement audits received attention recently. See how much you know with this short quiz.