Ruthe G. Ohrman - Page 22

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               In this case, petitioner has presented no credible nontax              
          reason for the transfer of assets pursuant to the separation                
          agreement.  Mr. Ohrman’s gambling addiction, long known to her,             
          did not cause a legal separation.  Petitioner reacted to that               
          situation by taking practical control of the family finances.               
          These circumstances lead us to the ultimate conclusion that                 
          petitioner obtained a legal separation in order to shield as many           
          assets and as much of the family’s income as possible from the              
          1999 tax deficiency.                                                        
               Furthermore, it is not inequitable to hold petitioner liable           
          for the 1999 tax deficiency because she would not suffer a major            
          financial hardship as a result.  Petitioner holds assets that she           
          could use to pay the 1999 tax deficiency.  In addition, her                 
          family’s living expenses are all paid from Mr. Ohrman’s earnings.           
          Therefore, although her circumstances may be unfortunate, they do           
          not compel relief from joint and several tax liability under                
          section 6015(b).                                                            
          Section 6015(c) Analysis                                                    
               Because petitioner cannot avoid liability for the deficiency           
          arising from the joint 1999 return under section 6015(b), we now            
          turn our attention to her claim for relief from joint and several           
          liability under section 6015(c).  Section 6015(c) allows a                  
          taxpayer, who is eligible and so elects, to limit his or her                
          liability to the portion of a deficiency that is properly                   

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