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Submitted By tinawong1115
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1. Who bears the burden of proof in tax court/tax related cases?
A: The taxpayer

2. What did the petitioners contend in front of the tax court as to why they didn’t keep any records/acknowledgement of the charitable donations?
A: Because taxpayer thinks they made all of their contributions in batches worth less than $250, which would fall into the Sec. 170(f)(8). "Separate contributions of less than $250 are not subject to the requirements of section

3. Why was the tax court skeptical of the petitioner argument?
• This donation occurred in conjunction with a single event, the Church's annual flea market. Petitioners' testimony that they intentionally made all other contributions in batches worth less than $250 requires the assumption that they made these donations, with an alleged value of $24,200, on 97 distinct occasions. This assumption is implausible and has no support in the record.
• Petitioners testified that they did not assign values to the donated items until they prepared their tax return in 2012. That being so, it is hard to see how they could have ensured, at the time they contributed the property, that each individual batch was worth less than $250
• Petitioners allegedly made noncash contributions to four different charities of seven categories of items, each with a claimed value exceeding $500. But they did not maintain written records establishing when or how these items were acquired or what their cost bases were. Nor did petitioners maintain written records establishing how they calculated the items' fair market value.

4. With regards to clothing and book donations, the court disallowed both contributions. Congress imposes strict standards on reporting large money donations, so with that in mind, why did the court disallow those contributions – even with written documentation by the petitioners?
A: No deduction is allowed for "any contribution of clothing or a household item" unless such property is "in good used condition or better." Sec. 170(f)(16)(A). "The term 'household items' includes furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances, linens, and other similar items." Sec. 170(f)(16)(D). Most of the items petitioners allegedly donated consisted of clothing and household items. They failed to present credible evidence that these items were "in good used condition or better," and they did not furnish a qualified appraisal with their return. For all these reasons, petitioners have not satisfied the substantiation requirements for donations of property valued over $500.5

5. What is the reasonable cause exception and how does it related to section 6662(a) penalties?
• Section 6664(c)(1) provides an exception to the imposition of the accuracy-related penalty if the taxpayer establishes that there was reasonable cause for, and that he acted in good faith with respect to, the underpayment. The decision as to whether the taxpayer acted with reasonable cause and in good faith is made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all pertinent facts and circumstances.

• Section 6662 imposes a 20% penalty upon the portion of any underpayment attributable to (among other things) negligence or disregard of rules or regulations. The term "negligence" includes any failure to make a reasonable attempt to comply with the tax laws, and "disregard" includes any careless, reckless, or intentional disregard.

• The Taxpayer will argue they didn’t intentional disregard and make any unreasonable attempt. They just acted in good faith with underpayment. But Taxpayer intentionally made all other contributions in batches worth less than $250; petitioners failed to keep reliable written records of their gifts because they did not record the dates of any of their contributions; hey did not record which items were donated to which charity; and they did not record how they determined the fair market values of any items. All this action is unreasonable and fail to meet Section 6664 requirement.

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