Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Tower v. United States

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

August 29, 2017

LOUISE TOWER AND SHAWN MORSE, Petitioners,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, JOHN KOSKINEN, COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, and BLANCHE GALASINAO, REVENUE AGENT, Respondents.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO DENY THE PETITION TO QUASH 3RD PARTY SUMMONS AND TO GRANT THE UNITED STATES' MOTION FOR SUMMARY DENIAL OF THE PETITION TO QUASH AND FOR ENFORCEMENT OF INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE SUMMONS [1]

          RICHARD L. PUGLISI, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court are (1) the Petition to Quash 3rd Party Summons, filed by Louise Tower[2] on May 19, 2017 (“Petition”); and (2) the Motion for Summary Denial of the Petition to Quash and for Enforcement of Internal Revenue Service Summons, filed by the United States on July 20, 2017 (“United States' Motion”). ECF Nos. 1, 12. Briefing was completed on these two matters on August 28, 2017. Pursuant to Local Rule Rule 7.2(d) of the Local Rules of Practice of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii, the Court elects to decide these matters without a hearing and VACATES the hearing set for September 8, 2017. As discussed in detail below, the Court FINDS AND RECOMMENDS that the district court DENY the Petition and GRANT the United States' Motion.

         BACKGROUND

         On May 3, 2017, Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Tax Specialist Blanche Galasinao, issued a summons to the Bank of Hawaii to produce bank information related to Petitioners Louise Tower and Shawn Morse (“Summons”). See ECF Nos. 1-15, 12-2. The Summons directed the Bank of Hawaii to produce all bank records in its possession relating to any bank accounts, loans made or applied for, or for any credit/debit/charge cards with respect to Petitioners for years 2014 and 2015. Id. In accordance with Internal Revenue Code Section 7603, Ms. Galasinao served an attested copy of the Summons on Bank of Hawaii via certified mail. ECF No. 12-1, Galasinao Decl., ¶¶ 4-5. Ms. Galasinao also sent notice of the summons to Petitioners by certified mail pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Section 7609(a). Id. ¶ 6. Ms. Tower then filed the present Petition seeking to quash the Summons issued to Bank of Hawaii. ECF No. 1. In response, the United States filed its Motion seeking denial of the Petition and enforcement of the Summons. ECF No. 12.

         ANALYSIS

         To enforce a summons, the government must establish good faith by showing that the summons: (1) is issued for a legitimate purpose; (2) seeks information relevant to that purpose; (3) seeks information not already within the IRS's possession; and (4) satisfies all administrative steps required by the United States Code. United States v. Powell, 379 U.S. 48, 57-58 (1964). The government's burden is “a slight one” and is generally satisfied by the sworn declaration of the IRS agent who issued the summons establishing that the Powell requirements have been met. Fortney v. United States, 59 F.3d 117, 120 (9th Cir. 1995).

         Once the government has shown that the Powell requirements have been met, the taxpayer is entitled to an evidentiary hearing to challenge the summons' validity if the taxpayer presents “specific facts or circumstances plausibly raising an inference of bad faith.” United States v. Clarke, 573 U.S.___, 134 S.Ct. 2361, 2367, 189 L.Ed.2d 330 (2014). “Naked allegations of improper purpose are not enough: The taxpayer must offer some credible evidence supporting his charge.” Id. The taxpayer must “make a showing of facts that give rise to a plausible inference of improper motive.” Id. at 2368.

         1. The Powell Requirements Have Been Met.

         Here, the Court finds that the government has demonstrated that the Powell requirements have been met. The IRS submitted the declaration of IRS Tax Specialist Blanche Galasinao, who issued the Summons, establishing that the Summons meets the four Powell requirements. See ECF No. 12-1, Galasinao Decl. Specifically, Ms. Galasinao's declaration establishes that:

(1) the Summons was issued for a legitimate purpose as part of the IRS's investigation to determine Petitioners' federal tax liabilities for the calendar years 2014 and 2015;
(2) the information sought through the Summons is relevant to the investigation to help the IRS determine the correct federal tax liabilities of Petitioners;
(3) the Summons seeks documents not already within the IRS's possession; and
(4) all administrative requirements have been met with regard to the Summons.

         Because the government has met the four Powell requirements, the burden shifts to Petitioners to show facts that give rise ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.