Lawrence v. C.I.R., 081783 FEDTAX, 8043-82

Docket Nº:8043-82.
Opinion Judge:DAWSON, Chief Judge:
Party Name:RONALD K. LAWRENCE, Petitioner v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent
Attorney:Ronald K. Lawrence, pro se. Richard J. Sapinski, for the respondent.
Case Date:August 17, 1983
Court:United States Tax Court
 
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46 T.C.M. (CCH) 1137

RONALD K. LAWRENCE, Petitioner

v.

COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent

No. 8043-82.

United States Tax Court

August 17, 1983

Ronald K. Lawrence, pro se.

Richard J. Sapinski, for the respondent.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

DAWSON, Chief Judge:

This case is before us on respondent's Motion to Compel Production of Documents or to Impose Sanctions upon Petitioner and petitioner's Motion to Compel Production of Documents or to Impose Sanctions upon Respondent. A hearing on these motions was held at Newark, New Jersey, on May 23, 1983. Petitioner and counsel for respondent were present and argued both motions. Petitioner has also filed a notice of objection to respondent's motion.

On January 29, 1982, respondent mailed a notice of deficiency to petitioner in which he determined the following deficiency in Federal income tax and additions to tax for the taxable year 1978:

Additions to Tax
Deficiency Sec. 6651(a)(1) Sec. 66531
$11,619.24 $1,364.05 $580.96
The deficiency is based on a single adjustment to income and a determination that petitioner was married, rather than single, on the last day of the taxable year. The adjustment to income relates to compensation paid directly and without restriction on its use to petitioner in his capacity as a salesman for IBM Corporation. The adjustment is explained in the statutory notice as follows: WAGES It is determined that during the taxable year ended December 31, 1978 you received wages in the total amount of $33,301.40 which are includable in your gross income under Section 61(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 as compensation for services. The exclusion of the foregoing sums from your gross income and/or your claimed exemption from taxation based on your allegedly having become a minister and having taken a " Vow of Poverty" is not allowable for federal income tax purposes. On a Form 1040 for 1978 petitioner had reported compensation of $33,301.40 but claimed that he was exempt from Federal income tax and consequently had reported no tax liability. He had also attached to that form a Wage and Tax Statement (" W-2" ) from IBM Corporation reflecting the payment of compensation, a " Minister's Certificate" and " Vow of Poverty," and a " Directive Letter" purporting to define his status as an agent for a " religious order." Respondent's Motion On December 2, 1982, respondent served petitioner with a request for production of documents pursuant to Rule 72.[2] The request asked that petitioner produce the following documents for inspection and copying: 1. All records (e. g., payroll stubs, forms W-2, employment contracts) concerning the receipt by petitioner (individually or as alleged agent of the " church" ) of income or wages for services rendered to third-parties in the year 1978. 2. All checking account statements, deposit slips and cancelled checks as to each and every checking account maintained in the individual name of the petitioner during any part of the year 1978. 3. All checking account statements, deposit slips and cancelled checks drawn by petitioner or any family member of petitioner (including spouse, children, brothers, sisters, parents, in-laws, cousins, etc.) for any accounts maintained during any part of the year 1978 in the name of the " church" through which petitioner claims exemption from tax. 4. A copy of the organizational certificate and any other such documents (i. e., articles of incorporation or association) of the " church" through which petitioner claims exemption from tax. 5. A copy of the by-laws of the " church" referred to in Item # 4, above. 6. Records of the members of the " church" referred to in Item # 4, above for the year 1978. 7. All minutes and minute books of shareholder, director, trustee or governing board meetings and any other minutes or minute books for the " church" referred to in Item # 4, above. 8. A copy of your job description prior to the date you executed your " vow of poverty" and a copy of your job description subsequent to that date. 9. All contracts or agreements in effect during the taxable years between you and your employer(s) regarding your services. 10. All contracts or agreements in effect during the taxable year 1978 between your employer(s) and any church(es) or religious organization(s) regarding your services. On January 10, 1983, petitioner served his response to respondent's request. [3] He did not produce any documents but rather asserted various objections, principally that certain documents are the property, and under the control, of the " Church of Freedom and Serenity." On February 22, 1983, respondent filed his motion to compel production. Petitioner filed a notice of objection in response to that motion on March 15, 1983. Petitioner's Motion On December 28, 1982, petitioner served respondent with a...

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