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Re: [tips_and_tricks] IRS 4340 Certification of Assessment

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  • Jake
         Has anyone had experience in getting IRS 4340 Assessment Certification removed from evidence in court?  Nope & it ain t gonna happen.  But I
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 10, 2011
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      > Has anyone had experience in getting IRS 4340 Assessment Certification removed from evidence in court?  

      Nope & it ain't gonna happen.  But I have yet to see one which was signed & in Braman v. U.S., 384 F.2d 863 (5th Cir. 1967), the lack of the assessment officer's signature renderd an otherwise proper assessment certificate null & void.  See also 26 CFR § 301.6203-1 & March v. IRS, 335 F.3d 1186 (10th Cir. 2003).  Excerpt:

         In response to Appellants’ request for a proof of claim for unpaid taxes, the IRS provided Certificates of Assessments and Payments on Form 4340. Appellants assert that Form 4340 does not meet the requirements of the regulations. Title 26 U.S.C. § 6203 simply provides that

            [t]he assessment shall be made by recording the liability of the taxpayer in the office of the Secretary in accordance with rules or regulations prescribed by the Secretary. Upon request of the taxpayer, the Secretary shall furnish the taxpayer a copy of the record of the assessment.

         The regulations accompanying this statute provide that “[t]he assessment shall be made by an assessment officer signing the summary record of assessment.” 26 C.F.R. 301.6203-1 (2002). The regulations further provide that the summary record of assessment shall include certain information and that upon a taxpayer’s request, “he shall be furnished a copy of the pertinent parts of the assessment which set forth [certain information].” Id.

         As Appellants note, the IRS has historically used Form 23C as the “Summary Record of Assessments” or “Assessment Certificate,” as explained in the Internal Revenue Service Manual. As Appellants concede, however, the Service Manual is not binding on this court. Furthermore, no regulation or statute requires that the “copy of the record of the assessment” mentioned in 26 U.S.C. § 6203 be made on Form 23C. 

         Nevertheless, regardless of the form used, the IRS must comply with the regulations governing the assessment process. The purpose of these regulations is to ensure both the efficiency and the accuracy of the assessment process. The signature requirement in 26 C.F.R. § 301.6203-1 appears to serve multiple purposes. The requirement ensures that an assessment officer reviews the assessment before it is sent to the taxpayer, and the placing of the officer’s signature establishes an effective date of the assessment that is relevant for certain timing requirements. Historically, the document reviewed and signed by the assessment officer has been Form 23C.

         To insure the taxpayer’s ability to challenge alleged errors in the assessment process, the regulations allow the taxpayer to request a copy of certain parts of the assessment record.

          
      > Has anyone had experience in getting IRS Internal Master File (IMF) admitted into evidence in court?  

      You should have no problem with that.  See e.g., U.S. v. Buford, 889 F.2d 1406 (5th Cir. 1989).  Excerpt:

         Discoverability of the IMF

         In a pretrial order, the district court ordered the government to comply with all discovery and inspection requests required by Fed.R.Crim.P. 16, and to provide the defendants by a specified date with all Brady and Jencks Act material. Stephen Buford requested a copy of his Individual Master File (herein “IMF”). The government refused to produce the IMF on the ground that it was beyond the scope of the district court’s order. The government argued that the IMF was an internal document and was, therefore, not discoverable. Fed.R.Crim.P. 16(a)(2). It argued further that the document was immaterial and irrelevant and, finally, that Brady did not require its production. The district court denied Stephen Buford’s request, apparently relying on the government’s assertion that it contained no Brady material.
         At some later time, believing that his IMF was exculpatory, Stephen Buford requested that the district court review his IMF in camera. The court granted Buford’s request but failed to make the inspection. (The IMF is written in coded form. In order to decipher the codes, an “A.D.P. code book” is needed. The court ordered the government to produce the book. The government agreed to produce the book but failed to do so. In the meantime, the trial continued to a verdict before any in camera inspection was performed.)

      * * *

         [T]he district court denied discovery of the IMF, yet admitted in evidence two conflicting secondary sources of the data contained in it. In addition, the court agreed to review the IMF in camera, but never did so. * * * The district court abused its discretion in denying Stephen Buford’s request for production of the IMF and in failing to perform the promised in camera inspection.
         There is no authority for the district court’s action. As Buford’s brief puts it, “The I.R.S. has successfully used the IMF transcript and often attached a Certificate [of Assessments] to it as an official interpretation and if the issue is not objected to or uncontested used a mere certificate, but there are no reported cases allowing a certificate over objection to be utilized without the underlying official record. To the contrary, the existing case law shows the government as the force generally trying to admit the I.M.F. . . .
      ______________

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    • Marsox
      I got mine admitted into Tax Court.  Which court are you talking about?  Then, even if you get it admitted, you need to have the IRM or an expert witness to
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 10, 2011
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        I got mine admitted into Tax Court.  Which court are you talking about?  Then, even if you get it admitted, you need to have the IRM or an expert witness to testify what the codes mean (at least in my case the judge thought so).


        Has anyone had experience in getting IRS Internal Master File (IMF)
        admitted into evidence in court?

        # thx!

        clrariz




      • Jake
            . . . even if you get it [the IMF] admitted, you need to have the IRM or an expert witness to testify what the codes mean . . . You would need an expert
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 10, 2011
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             > . . . even if you get it [the IMF] admitted, you need to have the IRM or an expert witness to testify what the codes mean . . .

          You would need an expert witness & the IRM (Internal Revenue Manual) doesn't have the IMF codes.  For that you must have the "IRS Processing Codes and Information Formerly Titled: ADP and IDRS Information" book.  That 2010 edition is 613 pages & the 2003 "ADP and IDRS Information Document 6209" which preceded it is 674 pages (I've got 'em both).  It's also useful to have the Law Enforcement Manual.

          It is very, very tedious & time-consuming to "decode" an IMF & while you can do it yourself, I seriously doubt if any court would let you testify as to what the codes mean, or cross-examine witnesses about them - only way to go about it would be to hire an expert witness & it'd be best if you had your IMF decoded & a report on it made by someone who does it for a living.  And there aren't many people who even know what an IMF is, let alone what it all means.

          ~ ~ ~ 



        • dave
          SEDM/Family Guardian has the closest thing to an automatic IMF decoder and near automatic letter-generator of correction. That said, IMF decoding worked very
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 10, 2011
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            SEDM/Family Guardian has the closest thing to an automatic IMF decoder and
            near automatic letter-generator of correction.



            That said, IMF decoding worked very well in the early days. I haven't heard about much success with it lately.
          • Jake
                SEDM/Family Guardian has the closest thing to an automatic IMF decoder I ve tried that a few times & didn t find it to be a time-saver.  And it s
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 10, 2011
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                 > SEDM/Family Guardian has the closest thing to an automatic IMF decoder

              I've tried that a few times & didn't find it to be a time-saver.  And it's nowhere near as accurate & detailed as doing the job manually.  

              Also, after going over every single code, I've done requests for documents by DLN (document locator number) - to find out which particular document caused a particular code to be generated (although not every DLN has a paper doc associated with it).  Last time the IRS responded with a "we need more time" letter, but they said they'd provide the docs by a certain date & they did - 6 months later.

              For example, a TC 971 can indicate several different things & one of 'em is that data was input to an incorrect SSN and/or tax year.  So just knowing that a 971 could mean this or that doesn't tell you what you want to know - what document caused that 971 to be generated?  What does that 971 mean specifically in this case?  It can take take 6 months (or longer), but you'll find out, if you use the DLN & properly request the document(s) associated with it.

              Also, there's one code I've seen on every IMF I've ever gone thru which indicates there's a "permanent invalid SSN freeze" on the account - so what caused that to be generated?  The answer is quite complicated, but getting real specific with your document requests will get you the answer.  They can (& do) temporarily remove the freeze, but they'll never get rid of it & setting aside that freeze temporarily is supposed to be done using a specific process which I've never seen 'em follow correctly.  

              When you really dig into an IMF, you'll turn up so much conflicting information it's not funny, but what it proves is that the IRS (or U.S. Attny.) cannot rely on the IMF or any secondary documents which use information derived from the IMF because they conflict with each other.  One example being an SFR (substitute for return) being done approximately 6 weeks after the "return received date" - so even though the individual did not file a return for that year, the IMF shows that they did - before the SFR was done.  And as IRS records custodian Marcia Boatright testified in the afore-mentioned Buford case, the IMF can show that no return was filed when one actually was.  (Footnote 4: "Freeze Code — A code placed in the IMF indicating that a tax return, if filed, should be rejected. Thus, if a freeze code is in the IMF, an individual can file a return and the computer will, even so, show that none was filed.")   

              Another thing is you'll start to see patterns & you'll get to the point that you can fairly accurately predict what they'll do next.  An example being SFR's for 2 or more years done on the same day.  And you'll see the dates that CP letters were generated / sent out, so you can see how long it'll be until the next one comes - i.e., CP503, CP504, etc.  The time period between them won't be precise, but it'll usually be close enough to give you a good idea & it'll also tell you what step of the administrative ladder you're on.

              Needless to say, all the decoding should be done long before your situation even gets close to developing into a court case.  If you're trying to work your way out of "the system" & you know what they're up to, you can get out before it ever goes from administrative procedure to court - you can keep a case tied up in administrative procedure for years.  And if you do end up in court, you'd better know that IMF inside-out, forwards, backwards, up, down & sideways!

              ~ ~ ~ 
              .



            • optionqueen2002
              What code number shows an invalid SSN freeze, that you have seen on every IMF? Is the code number listed in the IMF line items that detail each transaction,
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 12, 2011
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                What code number shows an invalid SSN freeze, that you have seen on every IMF? Is the code number listed in the IMF line items that detail each transaction, or is it at the top of the page you are looking at?

                I ask because every IMF does not contain this code, but it will appear at the top of the computer screen displaying the taxpayer IMF. That can print out, depending on who prints the IMF and how. It's at the top of the screen because that is a default field for the operator to use - the only codes that matter and pertain to the case are in the line items, i.e., 530-followed by explanation; 150-followed by payment explanation, etc.



                --- In tips_and_tricks@yahoogroups.com, Jake <jake_28079@...> wrote:
                >
                >    > SEDM/Family Guardian has the closest thing to an automatic IMF decoder
                >
                >
                > I've tried that a few times & didn't find it to be a time-saver.  And it's nowhere near as accurate & detailed as doing the job manually.  
              • Jake
                     What code number shows an invalid SSN freeze, that you have seen on every IMF? Is the code number listed in the IMF line items that detail each
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 12, 2011
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                  > What code number shows an invalid SSN freeze, that you have seen on every IMF? Is the code number listed in the IMF line items that detail each transaction, or is it at the top of the page you are looking at?

                  In the "Entity" section on page 1 of an "IMF-MCC-TRANSCRIPT-COMPLETE" you will see (on the right side) "VAL-1".  That's a "validity" code which indicates "permanent invalid SSN freeze".  And underneath it is an "SCS -  " field, which usually has no number after the dash, but may have a 1 or a 2 after the dash.  SCS-1 indicates the SSN has not been verified with the S.S. Admin. & SCS-2 indicates that it has, but 'VAL-1" has been on every IMF I've ever seen (regardless of what the SCS field says) & I've been working with them since 1997.

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