David Bruce McMahan - Page 12
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Petitioner was responsible for ensuring that the extension
request and return were filed on time and must accept the
consequences for the agent's failure to complete the task.
Petitioner's reliance on Mr. Russell to file the extension
request is no more a defense to the addition to tax than was the
executor's reliance on his agent to file the return in Boyle.
See Fleming v. United States, supra at 1125-1126; Vocelle v.
Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1968-5; Scimeca v. United States, 735 F.
Supp. 300, 302 (N.D. Ill. 1990); Estate of Cox v. United States,
637 F. Supp. 1112, 1115 (S.D. Fla. 1986); Sarto v. United States,
563 F. Supp. 476, 478 (N.D. Cal. 1983).
This conclusion is supported by tax policy considerations.
In our case, petitioner relied on Mr. Russell, whom he regarded
as a "partner, a friend, and a trusted advisor", to file the
extension request. When respondent determined an addition to tax
for failure to file in a timely manner, however, petitioner
blamed Mr. Russell for the late filing, and during the trial Mr.
Russell could not recall any details relating to the second
extension request. Our holding in this case places the
incentives where they belong. Taxpayers are subject to the
addition to tax if their returns are not filed on time and may
seek reimbursement from their agents on grounds of malpractice or
breach of fiduciary duty. The integrity of our tax collection
system would be eroded if taxpayers under these circumstances
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