TaxProf Blog – Bryan Camp: Lesson From the Tax Court: A Hard Choice is Still a Choice (November 8, 2021)

Bryan Camp has published an article on the TaxProf Blog, titled “Lesson From the Tax Court: A Hard Choice is Still a Choice”, which discusses the case of Pamela Cashaw v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2021-123 (Oct. 27, 2021) (Judge Greaves). The article begins as follows:

I have a strict attendance policy in that a student is either either there or not.  I don’t do excused absences.  Students get six absences with no penalty and with no questions asked.  Their seventh absence, however, results in a one-increment reduction of their final grade (B+ to B, e.g.), again with no questions asked.  Further absences lead to more severe consequences.

One year, a student who had missed six classes came to me and asked if I would excuse him for a seventh absence.  He was a key member of his University’s Cheer Squad and he would have to miss class in order to participate in their State finals competition.

I explained to him the concept of a hard choice: a situation where any decision carries some significant downside.  But the difficulty of the choice would not excuse the penalty.  I suggested that he consider what would be more important to him in 10 years: getting a lower grade in one law school course, or missing the chance to help his team win a State championship.  He decided to take the grade hit.  Good choice, IMHO.

In Pamela Cashaw v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2021-123 (Oct. 27, 2021) (Judge Greaves), we learn that taxpayers cannot be excused from the §6672 Trust Fund Recovery Penalty just because they face hard choices on how to use their company’s limited cash, no matter how sympathetic we may be to their difficulties.  If they have funds to pay the taxes withheld from their employees’ paycheck, their choice to instead pay off more immediately threatening creditors opens them to personal liability for the unpaid trust fund taxes.  Details below the fold.

Click here to see the full article: “Lesson From the Tax Court: A Hard Choice is Still a Choice

Posted by Marin Larkin, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.

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