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Schussel, et al. v. Commissioner of Revenue (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-123-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   13-P-876                                        Appeals Court   GEORGE SCHUSSEL & another[1]  vs.  COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE. No. 13-P-876 Suffolk.     June 4, 2014. – September 30, 2014. Present:  Graham, Meade, & Fecteau, JJ. Taxation, Appellate Tax Board:  findings, Income tax, Gross income.  Words, “Tax-related.”       Appeal from a decision of the Appellate Tax Board.   Francis J. DiMento for the taxpayers. John M. Stephan, Assistant Attorney General, for Commissioner of Revenue.     GRAHAM, J.  This is an appeal from an Appellate Tax Board (board) decision upholding the denial by the Commissioner of Revenue (commissioner) of a request for an abatement of double taxes assessed to George and Sandra Schussel (Schussels) for filing false or fraudulent income tax returns for the calendar years 1993, 1994, and 1995 (tax years at issue).  The case presents three issues:  first, whether the board erred as a matter of law in upholding the commissioner’s double tax assessment based on the Schussels’ false or fraudulent filings; second, whether the Schussels were entitled to amnesty from the double tax assessment; and third, whether the board erred as a matter of law in ruling that the seven-year look-back period for nonfiling taxpayers does not apply to the Schussels.  We affirm. Background.  The facts are taken from the board’s findings of fact and report.  George[2] received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California in 1961.  He attended graduate school at Harvard University, where he earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in 1966.  Sandra, who was born and raised in Lynn, attended the Peter Brent Brigham Hospital nursing school in Boston and graduated in 1962.  She practiced as a registered nurse at The Children’s Hospital in Boston for six months before leaving to begin work as a flight attendant for American Airlines. The Schussels met in 1964 and were married the following year.  They lived in Cambridge while George completed his education at Harvard.  After George became employed, the couple relocated several times.  The couple lived in New Jersey when their first daughter was born in 1970.  Later that year, the Schussels moved back to Massachusetts, and George secured a job at American Mutual Insurance Company.  In 1971, the family moved to Lynnfield. In 1979, George founded his own company, Digital Consulting, Inc. (DCI), which he incorporated in Massachusetts. DCI organized, promoted, and conducted trade shows and conferences that were designed to […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 30, 2014 at 3:04 pm

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