‘No Harm, No Foul’ Philosophy Applied to Tax Lawyers

Bloomberg Law’s combination of innovative analytics, research tools and practical guidance provides you with everything you need to be a successful litigator.

By Bernie Pazanowski

Taxpayers can’t avoid paying deficiencies and penalties even though the person who gave them advice wasn’t authorized to practice in tax court or licensed to practice in Illinois, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held March 14 ( Shamrock v. Comm’r of Internal Revenue , 7th Cir., No. 16-3811, 3/14/17 ).

The advice was sound so there was “no harm, no foul,” the court said in an opinion by Judge Richard A. Posner.

The counselor provided the taxpayers with “competent, valuable, diligent, and effective” assistance, the court said.

Given that there isn’t a right to counsel in tax court, the taxpayers were saddled with the stipulation they made to the court based on the counselor’s advice.

Judge Michael S. Kanne was the only other judge named on the opinion, which he joined.

Sheldon Drobny , Highland Park, Ill., represented the taxpayers. DOJ represented the government.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bernie Pazanowski in Washington at bpazanowski@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bna.com

For More Information

Full text at http://src.bna.com/mXW.

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Request Litigation on Bloomberg Law