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Charles Bricken William S. Rose, Jr. They filed t returns in and claiming certain business deductions for expenses associated with their cattle farm. Robert Remuzzi is an orthopedic surgeon; his wife Rachael Remuzzi is a housewife.

They and their five children reside in Leesburg, Virginia on a 74 acre farm named Fairleigh Farm. The Remuzzis became interested in the amenities of farm living shortly after moving to Leesburg inwhere Dr. Remuzzi began his medical practice. In earlyDr. After discussions about Dr. Remuzzi's desire to live on a farm, he and Payne made the following agreement. Remuzzi's farm when he purchased a suitable property. Payne was to repay his loan by giving Dr.

Remuzzi half of the calves born to the herd until the fair market value of the calves equaled the amount of the loan. It consisted of 35 acres of open pasture and 40 acres of woods and included a main house, a tenant house and various other farm buildings on five of the acres. The property was being sold to avoid foreclosure by the Federal Land Bank. The property had not been operated as a farm for about ten years and was in a state of disrepair.

Payne agreed to move on the property and help repair and maintain it in return for the right to live in the tenant house rent free and the right to graze his own small herd of cattle on the property. Remuzzi and Payne were to share equally in the profits from cattle raising. The Remuzzis moved to the farm in August of Payne moved to the farm in November of He brought his Angus herd about 30 cattlea tractor, a bushhog, and a small combine. For about a year, Payne mended fences and bushhogged the pasture land.

However, during the spring and summer ofPayne moved his herd off the farm because of insufficient closed-in pastureland. The cattle returned during the fall of after more fences were mended during the summer. By earlyPayne began to behave strangely and irresponsibly, performing less and less work on the farm. This prompted Dr. On July 1,Dr. Remuzzi had originally lent to Payne. During the summer ofDr. Remuzzi hired some college students to work on the farm and he, himself, also mended fences to enclose pastureland for the five head of cattle which he owned.

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His ten-year old son fed the five head of cattle each day. Remuzzi's wife performed no farm-related work as she was pregnant. By the fall ofPayne could no longer perform his work. In the spring ofDr. The judgment has never been satisfied. The following ing information shows taxpayers' revenues, expenses and losses associated with Fairleigh Farm from to The revenues consisted of the following items:. During the same period, Dr. Remuzzi reported the following earnings from his medical practice:. The first question for discussion is whether the Tax Court erred when it found that the Remuzzis were not engaged in farming with the requisite purpose of making a profit.

Taxpayers may take deductions for ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred in carrying on a trade or business under 26 U. Out of concern that deductions of that nature be taken for legitimate businesses 2 and not for personal pleasure or to generate losses to shelter unrelated income, Congress later passed 26 U.

Engdahl v. Commissioner, 72 T. The Treasury Regulations to Sec. The nine factors are: 1 the manner in which the taxpayer carries on the activity; 2 the expertise of the taxpayer or his advisors; 3 the time and effort expended by the taxpayer in carrying on the activity; 4 the expectation that assets used in the activity may appreciate in value; 5 the success of the taxpayer in carrying on other similar or dissimilar activities; 6 the taxpayer's history of income or losses with respect to the activity; 7 the amount of occasional profits, if any, which are earned; 8 the financial status of the taxpayer; and 9 the elements of personal pleasure or recreation.

Commissioner, F. See also 26 C. The burden is upon the taxpayer to show that he is engaged in an activity for profit. Faulconer, F. Whether the Remuzzis' cattle farm is an activity engaged in for profit is a question of fact, id. Commissioner v. Duberstein, U. The reviewing court cannot reverse simply because it would have decided the case differently. Anderson v.

Bessemer City, U. A finding is clearly erroneous when, although there is evidence to support it, on the entire evidence the reviewing court is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed. United States Gypsum Co. And the Tax Court must be reversed if it has applied the wrong legal standard.

United States v. The Remuzzis complain that the Tax Court applied the wrong legal standard under Sec. We address those contentions. The Remuzzis accurately state that Sec. Rather, a sincere and honest or bona fide profit motive is all that is required. However, the Remuzzis fail to show that the Tax Court applied the erroneous reasonable profit motive standard. They merely assert that the Tax Court must have erred because it did not recite the words "sincere and honest. That, they contend, made factor eight "implicitly Although the Remuzzis attempt to argue that the Tax Court applied an excessively stringent standard in reviewing their farming activity, they merely restate the facts which they think justify a different conclusion.

The Tax Court's memorandum specifically applied the nine factor test under 26 C. Upon review, it cannot be said with definite and firm conviction that the Tax Court committed a mistake when it concluded that taxpayers, "who had substantial nonfarm income in each of the years at issue, simply preferred to live on a farm and attempted to deduct their personal expenses of maintaining and improving their domicile as business expenses. CCH Finally, taxpayers argue that the Tax Court decided three contemporaneous cases applying a less stringent standard.

The three analogous cases clearly indicated that the Tax Court was impressed with the credibility of the taxpayers' testimony.

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The next question asks whether the Tax Court erred in determining that Payne was a tenant on the Remuzzis' farm rather than a partner with the Remuzzis in the farming venture. The Remuzzis argue that the undisputed facts 5 indicate that Dr. Remuzzi and Payne were partners in their t venture to establish a cattle farm and that Payne's intent to make it profitable should have been considered.

Once again, the Remuzzis' concern focuses on a fact which the Tax Court found disfavorably to them. The finding was not clearly erroneous. The Remuzzis also complain that the Tax Court erroneously applied the first factor of the nine-part test, i. They contend that the Tax Court wrongly required them to have performed sophisticated financial analyses before embarking on a farm venture. However, the cases upon which taxpayers rely appear to be factually distinguishable.

The Tax Court determined that this, along with the Remuzzis' lack of effort to monitor the farm's profitability or to reduce its expenses, indicated their disregard for the farm's profitability. The Tax Court did not rely solely on the separate financial records which taxpayers did maintain for the property, although the Tax Court did negatively observe that those records were the minimum necessary to support the taxpayers' deductions for tax purposes.

Finally, the Remuzzis contest the Tax Court's determination that a bad debt which Payne owed them was a nonbusiness bad debt and not deductible. A nonbusiness bad debt is defined in 26 U. A a debt created or acquired as the case may be in connection with a trade or business of the taxpayer; or. B a debt the loss from the worthlessness of which is incurred in the taxpayer's trade or business.

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To qualify as a trade or business, a taxpayer's primary purpose for engaging in the activity must be for income or profit. Groetzinger, U. Because of the strict standard of review and deference in the case law to the trial tribunal's fact-finding, the decision of the Tax Court is. A business must be undertaken "in good faith for the purpose of making a profit" in order for its expenses to be deductible under Sec. Faulconer v. Congress indicated that an objective evaluation should be used in determining whether an activity is engaged in for profit:.

Thus, although a reasonable expectation of profit is not to be required, the facts and circumstances without regard to the Taxpayer's subjective intent would have to indicate that the taxpayer entered the activity, or continued the activity, with the objective of making a profit. Code Cong. News Congress' intent to use an objective test was implemented through 26 C. See Feldman v. Commissioner, 55 T. CCH ; Roberts v.

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Commissioner, 53 T. CCH ; and Archer v. CCH 45 Taxpayers state the undisputed evidence as follows: 1 Payne was a successful, longtime farmer; 2 he assisted the Remuzzis in selecting the farm; 3 he was Dr. Remuzzi's principal adviser; 4 he provided the majority of the livestock, labor, farm equipment and expertise to operate the farm; 5 his arrangement with the Remuzzis was typical in that area; 6 his illness could not have been foreseen by the Remuzzis; and 7 he could not be replaced. Taxpayers assert that this "error" infects the entire nine-factor test which the Tax Court applied by distorting the Remuzzis' 1 long-term plan for acquiring and operating their farm, 2 access to an experienced resident farm adviser, 3 arrangement with Payne to provide cost-effective farm labor and capital assets i.

See, for example, Faulconer, F. CCH at 49 although petitioner did not maintain formal books ofhe kept a separate farm checking which he reconciled monthly to his own records; maintained invoice files for each merchant; completed a log of expenditures for his trucking expenses; used the yearly breakdown provided by the local farm-supply cooperative to aid in ing for his farm purchases. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Respon Receive free daily summaries of new opinions from the U.

Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Robert Remuzzi; Rachael Remuzzi, Petitioners-appellants, v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Respondent-appellee, F. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit - F. Decided: Jan. Brook Voght Martin Scully, Jr. Justia Legal Resources. Find a Lawyer. Law Students. US Federal Law. US State Law. Other Databases. Marketing Solutions.

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