Allen C. Chamberlin and Martha L. Chamberlin - Page 30

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               For the years in issue, petitioners must show that they                
          acted reasonably and prudently and exercised due care in                    
          reporting their taxes.  See id.  Petitioners assert that their              
          actions were not negligent, and, therefore, they are not liable             
          for additions to tax or penalties.  They argue that they relied             
          on the advice of a certified public accountant in calculating               
          their tax liability during all years.                                       
               Taxpayers may satisfy their burden of proof as to negligence           
          by showing that they reasonably relied on the advice of a                   
          competent professional adviser.  See United States v. Boyle,                
          supra at 250-251; Freytag v. Commissioner, 89 T.C. 849, 888                 
          (1987), affd. 904 F.2d 1011 (5th Cir. 1990), affd. 501 U.S. 869             
          (1991).  Reliance on professional advice, standing alone, is not            
          an absolute defense but rather is a factor to be considered.                
               Although any reliance by petitioners on the advice of their            
          paid preparer was unreasonable with respect to the failure to               
          file a timely return, it was reasonable to rely on the advice of            
          the paid preparer regarding the amount of tax liability to report           
          during the years in issue.  The facts of this case created                  
          genuine issues as to whether petitioners are entitled to use NOL            
          carryovers on their returns for 1985 through 1993.  Due to the              
          complexity of the bankruptcy issues involved, it was reasonable             
          for petitioners to rely upon the incorrect advice of their paid             

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