Mark Fowler and Joylyn Souter-Fowler - Page 12

                                       - 12 -                                         
               living expenses.  The determination of the amount of                   
               such basic living expenses will be founded upon an                     
               evaluation of the individual facts and circumstances                   
               presented by the taxpayer’s case.  To guide this                       
               determination, guidelines published by the Secretary on                
               national and local living expense standards will be                    
               taken into account.  [Sec. 301.7122-1T(b)(3)(ii),                      
               Temporary Proced. & Admin. Regs., 64 Fed. Reg. 39024                   
               (July 21, 1999).]                                                      
               The regulation provides that the guidelines are to be taken            
          into account.  When the Appeals officer reviewed petitioners’               
          offers, he decided to use the guidelines because he thought                 
          petitioners’ actual figures were too low.  In that regard, there            
          is no specific explanation why the Appeals officer believed that            
          petitioners’ monthly expenses of $3,989 was too low or why the              
          guideline figure of $4,644 was more accurate.  The use of the               
          guideline expense figure resulted in a $136 shortfall in                    
          petitioners’ capability to meet the $100-monthly installment to             
          satisfy the $2,400 compromise.  If petitioners’ submitted monthly           
          expenses of $3,989 had been used, there would have been a $619              
          surplus of income over expenses that would have enabled                     
          petitioners to meet the $100-monthly installment to satisfy the             
               In essence, the Appeals officer decided that petitioners               
          could not live less expensively than the national average                   
          (guidelines).  We find it curious that the Appeals officer relied           
          on petitioners’ figures for their vehicle and for their income,             
          but chose not to use petitioners’ figures for their monthly                 

Page:  Previous  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  Next

Last modified: May 25, 2011