It only takes a couple of paragraphs to recognize a Tax Court opinion drafted by Judge Mark V. Holmes whose distinctive style is inimitable. In his latest effort, Judge Holmes expounds on sub-genres of hard rock and heavy metal music and flexes his vocabulary to describe what ordinary folks like us might just call a “strip club.” The taxpayer’s incarceration, risk management techniques, and references to Great White and Head East only added to the tale. All of this because of an incorrectly reported capital gain following a condemnation action. Taxation should always be so fun.
The 17 page Summary Opinion (which disposed of the taxpayer’s action but cannot be cited for precendent) had us reaching for the dictionary more than once as illustrated by the following sentence:
He rented out the old house to a tenant who installed minor improvements (e.g., poles) and opened an establishment felicitously–and paronomastically–called the “Landing Strip,” in which young lady ecdysiasts engaged in the deciduous calisthenics of perhaps unwitting First Amendment expression.
We couldn’t even find “paranomasia” (the root for the adverb above) in our three and a half inch thick Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language. Fortunately the internet offered up the answer, which the curious can find here. All in a day’s work for Judge Holmes.
In the end, the taxpayer did get a bit of a break on the capital gain asserted by the IRS in the notice of deficiency but you’ll have to run the math yourself to know exactly how much as decision was entered under Tax Court Rule 155.
Read the opinion (and get the depreciation formula for the taxpayer’s gain) here.
Willson v. Commissioner, T.C. Summ 2011-132