Joseph C. Minneman - Page 13

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         Memo. 1997-328, this is not such a case.                                     
              We have consistently held that we will not apply the Cohan              
         approach unless the taxpayer presents evidence sufficient to                 
         provide some rational basis on which an estimate may be made.                
         See Vanicek v. Commissioner, 85 T.C. 731, 743 (1985).  Without               
         such evidence, any allowance would amount to unguided largesse.              
         See Williams v. United States, 245 F.2d 559, 560 (5th Cir. 1957);            
         see also Millsap v. Commissioner, supra.4                                    
              In the present case, petitioner offered no evidence                     
         whatsoever that would provide a rational basis on which an                   
         estimate might be made.  In this regard, we note that petitioner             
         offered nothing other than his own testimony.  However,                      
         petitioner’s testimony was invariably conclusory, frequently                 
         improbable, and occasionally fantastical.  See Lovell & Hart,                
         Inc. v. Commissioner, 456 F.2d 145, 148 (6th Cir. 1972) (the Tax             
         Court is not required to accept a taxpayer’s testimony if it is              
         improbable, unreasonable, or questionable), affg. T.C. Memo.                 

               4  The following passage from Millsap v. Commissioner, 46              
          T.C. 751, 760 (1966), affd. 387 F.2d 420 (8th Cir. 1968), is                
          particularly apt:                                                           
               There have been cases where a failure of proof on the                  
               issue of basis has been overlooked to permit the                       
               allowance of a small casualty loss deduction where it                  
               could reasonably be inferred from other facts of record                
               that the allowed amount did not exceed basis, but this                 
               is not such a case.  We do not feel that application of                
               the Cohan rule is appropriate here on the question of                  
               basis. [Fn. ref. omitted.]                                             

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