Psssst: I’ve Got a Secret…

After being gone over the weekend, I discover that the World’s Greatest Newspaper (the Chicago Tribune) ran a story on the infamous Kanter case. In this case, the US Tax Court’s Chief Judge apparently reversed the finding’s of the trial court judge—for no apparent reason. Earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled that the trial court’s ruling be made public. Under a 1984 Tax Court rule, the trial court’s ruling is not made public.

The Tribune has had two articles about this ruling. The first, on June 24th, features the classic line from Julie Roin, a law professor at the University of Chicago, “How could the tax court judges essentially lie about what was in the report?” The second article, on June 25th, has the comment of the current Chief Judge of the Tax Court, Joel Gerber, that no judge on the Tax Court will comment on the case.

You can find the Supreme Court’s decision here (the case is Ballard v. Commissioner).

Now, courts are supposed to have transparency in their actions. The Tax Court, today, doesn’t. Hopefully this ruling, and the associated publicity, will impact the Tax Court’s policies. I’m not holding my breath (again).

Thanks to the TaxProf Blog and Roth and Company’s Tax Updates for the heads-up.

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