Blau v. Commissioner, No. 17-1266 (D.C. Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
After RERI claimed a charitable contribution deduction of $33 million on its 2003 federal tax return, the IRS determined that RERI was not entitled to the deduction and imposed a 40% penalty for underpayment of tax. The DC Circuit affirmed the tax court's decision upholding the IRS's determinations and agreed with the tax court that RERI fell short of the substantiation requirements of the charitable contribution deduction by omitting its basis in the donated property. Therefore, the court did not reach the IRS's further argument that RERI failed to satisfy the substantiation requirements because the appraisal it submitted was not a "qualified appraisal" within the meaning of section 1.170A-13(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The court also agreed with the tax court's finding that RERI was liable for the 40% penalty reserved for a gross valuation misstatement and rejected RERI's claims to the contrary.