Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

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The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's order granting summary judgment to the City and the Foundation in an action alleging discriminatory taxation in violation of the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976. The court applied the factors in San Juan Cellular Tel. Co. v. Pub. Serv. Comm'n, 967 F.2d 683, 685 (1st Cir. 1992), and held that the City's storm water management charge was a fee, rather than a tax, and therefore was not subject to the Act's requirements. In this case, the charge was imposed by the City's legislative body, and the charge was part of a comprehensive regulatory scheme. View "Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. City of Roanoke" on Justia Law

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The Fourth Circuit affirmed the tax court's imposition of back taxes and penalties attributable to taxpayers' use of an unlawful tax shelter. In this case, taxpayers claimed in their 2000 tax return substantial capital losses attributable to a Custom Adjustable Rate Debt Structure (CARDS) transaction. The court held that the tax court did not abuse its discretion in rejecting taxpayers' Daubert challenge; the tax court did not clearly err in finding that taxpayers' CARDS transaction failed both the subjective and objective prongs of the economic substance test; and the tax court properly found that taxpayers failed to establish reasonable cause and good faith for claiming losses based on the CARDS transaction. View "Baxter v. Commissioner" on Justia Law

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The 90-day filing requirement in I.R.C. 6015(e)(1)(A)(ii) is jurisdictional. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the tax court's dismissal of a petition for relief based on lack of jurisdiction. The court held that the tax court correctly concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the untimely petition and declined to consider petitioner's additional arguments about equitable tolling, which were all predicated on subsection (e)(1)(A) being a non-jurisdictional filing deadline. View "Nauflett v. Commissioner of IRS" on Justia Law

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The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision holding respondent in contempt after she failed to produce certain documents pursuant to an IRS summons. In this case, the IRS was investigating respondent's income tax liability and was seeking various documents. The court held that United States v. Rylander, 460 U.S. 752 (1983), was controlling in this case and that respondent's arguments against Rylander were meritless. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in finding petitioner in contempt where the IRS established that she had committed at least a constructive violation of the Enforcement Order by failing to produce documents presumptively within her possession or control, and respondent failed to satisfy her burden of demonstrating that she made in good faith all reasonable efforts to comply with the order. View "United States v. Ali" on Justia Law