Our daughter Amanda is totally and permanently disabled by IRS definition.
We have for years been correctly claiming her as a qualified dependent under 26 USC 24 Child Tax Credit based on the plain language of the law. It directs the IRS use 26 USC 152 (c) in defining dependent for the purpose of 26 USC 24 Child Tax Credit.
All of a sudden in 2010 and 2011 the IRS denied the tax credit because she was over 17. In both cases the denial was under cover of a “Math Error”. In both cases I appealed the decision and after “additional research” by the IRS the credit was allowed.
In 2012 the IRS again issued a “Math Error” notice in not allowing the credit for Amanda. The difference in 2012 was the IRS refused to allow us to appeal the decision through normal channels.
Confused about the sudden denials relating to her age being over 17, I compared the published tax instruction booklet for 1040 forms with the actual United States Code, also known as the Internal Revenue Code. I was surprised to find there was an error in the instruction booklet. It omitted the specific requirement to use 26 USC 152 (c) in defining dependent for the purpose of 26 USC 24 Child Tax Credit. The tax instruction booklet incompletely represents the USC and IRC relating to the Child Tax Credit.
In 2007, 2008, 2009 2013, 2014, 2015 the credit was allowed without even a challenge by the IRS. The presumption of regularity is that in addition to the plain language of the statute, the IRS consistently acted correctly in allowing the child tax credit for Amanda over the course of 6 tax year filings.
I wrote to ~ 50 of the members of the House of Representatives who voted “Yea” for this child tax credit and all affirmed the section 152(c) was to be applied and it did not exclude the permanently disabled. I have proof of mailing etc.
The 2012 math error decision was not appeal-able according to the IRS. We were told we could file an amended return. We filed the amended return and the IRS refused to review it. We tried to go to tax court – but were blocked because the IRS refused to issue a Notice of Deficiency. We were told by Emerald Smith, an attorney for the IRS, our only recourse was to file a complaint in Federal District Court.
We petitioned (as pro-se) the court under a civil rights action because our right to due process of administrative action / law was violated. We specifically knew and understood that this case had class action implications for all families with disabled dependents – we asked that the case be identified as a class action and that an attorney be appointed to protect the rights of the other families in the United States with disabled dependents.
The class action was denied by the Judge – the court ruled this was just a refund case because we did not like the amount of refund. The court then cited in its opinion non-existent US Code for its reason to remove from the statute the IRS requirement to follow the direction to apply 152 (c) when defining dependent.
We appealed. In addition to that appeal we complained that the US attorney had repeatedly lied about the facts the IRS was presenting. We provided proof using only the official record the attorneys were not representing the facts truthfully.
The appeals court then ruled against us, and cited arguments that were never raised, or otherwise argued before the court, as their reason for their finding agreement with a lower court ruling that cited non-existent law as its basis for the ruling….they clearly closed ranks against a pro se plaintiff. There is nothing I can do about loosing the case.
I can however call this cover-up to the attention of other potential victims. As of now, a tax credit that was intended to include the disabled has been taken away by ill advised courts and IRS lawyers. The motive of the IRS, in my opinion, was to protect the IRS from embarrassment over a simple omission in the tax instruction booklet. The IRS chose to take away a tax credit from families with disabled dependents in place of accepting they made an error in the tax instructions. The motive of the courts, in my opinion, is to dissuade pro se plaintiffs from attempting to seek redress from the courts without an attorney.
Every family with a disabled dependent 17 years of age or older can legally, and should claim this credit. It (HR2014) was enacted into law by congress with a bipartisan vote. Amended returns can be filed for free for tax years going back 3 years. There is no penalty for filing an amended return for a missed tax credit. One of two things will happen. The amended return will either be allowed based upon the filers reason that 26 USC 24 Child Tax Credit based on the plain language of the law directs the IRS use 26 USC 152 (c)(3)(B) in defining dependent for the purpose of 26 USC 24 Child Tax Credit…or the amended return will be denied – If denied to a collection of people, a class of people with disabled dependents, a class action can be filed against the IRS to return the tax credit.
-Bob & Lisa parents of Amanda