Tax Courts, Appeals Courts, and District Courts are all taking a stand against people who are taking their services for granted. They have been given permission by the law to impose fines of up to $25,000 against people who the judges feel are wasting the courts time.
If a person files a tax case thats based on superficial claims, files it to create a delay, or has a case that can be solved through other means that are not pursued, the courts are permitted to penalize the person.
Late last year, the Tax Court penalized Hae-Rong Ni and his wife Lucy the maximum amount of $25,000 when they failed to provide the IRS with supporting documents after the IRS had rejected many deductions on their tax returns. Not only were the Nis fined, but their attorney Crystal Sluyter was also ordered to pay over $10,000 for taking the case.
On April 13, Michele Brashier and Richard Hembree made the mistake of trying to get out of filing their income tax returns by arguing that doing so would be a violation of their rights under the Fifth Amendment. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decided to teach them a lesion by mandating that they each pay a fine of $1,000.
Garnell McAfee, on the other hand, did not seem to be satisfied with being fined $500, due to his losing the argument that his wages should not be counted as income, since he decided to come back to court and try to prevent the government from collecting the fine. The judge for the U.S. District Court in Northern Georgia decided that he had had just about enough of Mr. McAfee and made him pay an extra $1,000, an added 10% to the original $500 and the garnishment cost incurred by the U.S. Marshal during the whole process.
The IRS is warning everyone that the courts are very serious as to imposing fines on individuals who are wasting the courts time.