893 F.2d 69 (4th Cir. 1990), 89-2675, Korangy v. C.I.R.

Docket Nº:89-2675.
Citation:893 F.2d 69
Party Name:Amile A. and Parvane S. KORANGY, Petitioners-Appellants, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent-Appellee.
Case Date:January 02, 1990
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
 
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Page 69

893 F.2d 69 (4th Cir. 1990)

Amile A. and Parvane S. KORANGY, Petitioners-Appellants,

v.

COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 89-2675.

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

January 2, 1990

Argued Oct. 30, 1989.

John Hardin Young (Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur; Michael A. Fracassi, Washington, D.C., on brief), for petitioners-appellants.

Michael James Roach (Shirley D. Peterson, Asst. Atty. Gen.; Gary R. Allen, Gilbert S. Rothenberg, Tax Div., U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., on brief), for respondent-appellee.

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Before WILKINS, Circuit Judge, WINTER, Senior Circuit Judge, and MOTZ, District Judge for the District of Maryland, sitting by designation.

MOTZ, District Judge:

Amile and Parvane Korangy appeal from a decision of the Tax Court denying their motion to modify or vacate a Stipulation of Agreed Adjustments into which they entered with the government. In the stipulation the Korangys agreed that there was a deficiency in the amount of $270,415.00 in their personal income tax for the taxable year 1982. They now contend that they made an error in compiling a list which was used during the negotiations leading to the stipulation and that the stipulation therefore should not be enforced against them.

I.

The Internal Revenue Service conducted an investigation of the Korangys. During the investigation the IRS found, inter alia, unexplained bank deposits of $637,647.00 made by the Korangys during the 1982 tax year. The IRS issued a notice of deficiency which the Korangys challenged by filing a petition in the Tax Court.

As the trial date approached, counsel for the Korangys entered into settlement negotiations with the government, conceding that some of the bank deposits represented unreported income but insisting that others did not. During the negotiations a list was prepared by the Korangys' lawyers and accountants which broke down the IRS's total of unexplained deposits into deposits which the Korangys conceded to be "unexplained" and those which they asserted were satisfactorily explained.

One of the deposits, in the amount of $227,987.50, related to a transfer which had purportedly been made by the Korangy Radiology Associates, Inc. Pension Plan to one of the Korangys' accounts for the purpose of permitting the Plan to purchase an interest in certain property located in Indian River County, Florida. The Korangys were contending that this deposit was "explained," and, according to them, it should have been placed under the category of "explained" deposits on the list which their attorneys and accountants prepared. Subsequently, according to the Korangys, they and the government engaged in deposit-by-deposit negotiations, and during the course of these negotiations they conceded that the $227,987.50 deposit did reflect reportable income. Therefore, it was deducted from the "explained deposit" category. However, the Korangys allege, the deposit had inadvertently been omitted from the "explained deposits" category in the first instance. Thus, they argue that it was counted twice in determining their taxable income, and this error resulted in an overstatement of the tax deficiency. 1

The government denies that the parties engaged in deposit-by-deposit negotiations. Rather, it asserts that the Korangys did not submit sufficient information to the appeals officer handling the case to permit a detailed analysis of individual bank deposits and that, after attempting to go through each deposit and resolve the case on that basis, "he put his hands up in frustration and said, 'I can't do it, if I'm going to resolve this case I'm going to come to a bottom line figure, and that bottom line figure is not going to be an exact number, it's going to be a number that I am willing to accept to resolve this case.' " It was this number which, according to the government, was finally reflected in the Stipulation of Agreed Adjustments entered into between the parties.

The list referred to by the Korangys was not appended to the stipulation. Instead, attached to it was a schedule which merely categorized the various sources of alleged unreported income and, as to each, the aggregate amount of the original adjustment and the amount conceded by the government and the Korangys.

Counsel for the Korangys and counsel for the government signed the stipulation on May 21, 1988. At the calendar call, the

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stipulation was filed with the Tax Court and the Korangys' counsel requested a continuance of sixty days to enable the parties to prepare a settlement document reflecting the deficiencies resulting from the adjustments to which they had agreed. The Court granted the continuance and directed the parties to file an agreed settlement document by July 22. The day before that deadline was to expire, counsel for the Korangys wrote a letter to counsel for the government suggesting a deficiency of $270,415.00 for the 1982 tax year. This deficiency was based upon an adjustment which included the $227,987.50 deposit now in question.

On August 12, 1988, pursuant to Tax Court Rule 155, the government submitted its computations of the tax deficiency. On September 6, 1988, the Korangys filed their alternative computations for entry of decision which differed from the government's computations as a result of what the Korangys asserted was the $227,987.50 deposit error. Simultaneously,...

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