Johnson v. Commissioner, No. 20-60054 (5th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the tax court's denial of petitioners' motion for costs under 26 U.S.C. 7630. Petitioners moved for costs after a dispute over an IRS notice of deficiency assessing them about $51,000 in taxes, penalties, and interest that resulted in their favor. The court held that, given the available facts, the tax court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that the IRS's position was substantially justified. In this case, the record plainly reflects a discrepancy between petitioners' return and the IRS's third-party material. Furthermore, when the Commissioner answered, the IRS had not received any substantiating documents from petitioners. Therefore, the tax court did not abuse its discretion.