Unpublished Disposition, 869 F.2d 1496 (9th Cir. 1989)Annotate this Case
Stanley Earl BUSH, Petitioner,v.COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Submitted Jan. 27, 1989.* Decided March 2, 1989.
Before PREGERSON, O'SCANNLAIN, and TROTT, Circuit Judges.
Stanley Earl Bush (Bush) appeals pro se the tax court's decision upholding the Commissioner of Internal Revenue's (Commissioner) deficiency determinations, imposition of additions to tax, and imposition of $5,000 damages pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6673 on the ground that Bush's petition was groundless. He contends that (1) the tax court did not have jurisdiction to enter the judgment, (2) he is not a taxpayer, (3) the Commissioner has the burden to prove that Bush is not exempt from paying taxes, and (4) placing the burden on Bush to disprove the assessments violates his due process rights. Bush also contests the imposition of damages under 26 U.S.C. § 6673. The Commissioner requests sanctions.
The judgment is affirmed. First, the tax court had jurisdiction over Bush because he commenced the case by filing a petition for redetermination in the tax court following the issuance of a notice of deficiency. See Tax Court Rule 13(a) (1). Second, Bush is a taxpayer. See 26 U.S.C. § 7701(a) (14) (a taxpayer is any person subject to an internal revenue tax); 26 U.S.C. § 63(a) (taxable income is gross income minus allowable deductions); 26 U.S.C. § 61(a) (1) (gross income includes all income from whatever source derived, including compensation for services). Third, the petitioner has the burden to show that the assessments in the notice of deficiency are incorrect. See Tax Court Rule 142(a); Rager v. Commissioner, 775 F.2d 1081, 1083 (9th Cir. 1985). Fourth, placing the burden on the petitioner is not a violation of due process. Rockwell v. Commissioner, 512 F.2d 882, 887 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 1015 (1975). The tax court did not abuse its discretion in imposing damages under 26 U.S.C. § 6673 because Bush's contentions in his petition were groundless, See 26 U.S.C. § 6673. Finally, we impose sanctions against Bush of $1500.00 because his contentions on appeal are wholly without merit. See Swimmer v. IRS, 811 F.2d 1343, 1345 (9th Cir. 1987).