REALLY, DON’T THREATEN YOUR CITIZENS WITH LEGAL ACTION BECAUSE THEY MADE NEGATIVE COMMENTS ABOUT YOUR TOWN
I have written a couple of posts recently about a smackdown administered to a town in Iowa that had its attorney threaten a citizen with legal action because the citizen wrote disparaging comments about the town. If you want to read the town’s abject surrender after it was sued by the ACLU on behalf of the citizen, Lowering the Bar has posted the injunction that was agreed to by the town, as well as the complaint.
This item goes all the way back to 2005, but since Lowering the Bar has a random posts sidebar, I had the good fortune to spot it. (Yes, I have again been reduced to trolling Lowering the Bar for material.)
The line I am talking about, which I could recite from memory without having even seen the linked post, was this: “Loosen up Sandy baby, you’re too tight.”
No disrespect to a (retired) Supreme Court Justice is intended by this post. Judging from the conversation related in the highly entertaining interview excerpt quoted in the linked post, I don’t think the Justice felt disrespected by the original line, or at least she was able to see the humor in the situation.
I HAVE MY DOUBTS ABOUT WHETHER THIS TAX AVOIDANCE STRATEGY WILL WORK – SOUNDS LIKE FORM OVER SUBSTANCE TO ME
Taxpayer operates a business that is not eligible for a favored tax treatment because of the nature of the services performed. Taxpayer creates two entities, one of which does the work that is not eligible for favored treatment, and the other of which claims all of the profit from that work. That way, all of the profit supposedly qualifies for the favored tax treatment.
Will that work? I think that falls into the category of form over substance. I don’t think it will work.
The National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2017 Annual Report to Congress discusses several topics of interest, including the denial of passport applications by individuals who have a “seriously delinquent federal tax debt.” The Advocate says that she has made “several recommendations to ensure taxpayers receive adequate advance notice and an opportunity to be heard” before the IRS makes the determination that the debt is “seriously delinquent.”
That sounds like it should address some of the criticism of that law.
MESSAGE TO MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS - DON’T THREATEN TO SUE YOUR CITIZENS FOR MAKING DISPARAGING COMMENTS ABOUT YOUR TOWN
Remember that town in Iowa whose attorney threatened a citizen with a slander of title claim for making disparaging comments about the town? The town got smacked down by a federal judge and agreed to apologize, pay damages to the citizen, and pay the citizen’s legal fees.
A welcome, but not too surprising, outcome.
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.