U.S. District Court Uses Judicial Estoppel to Prevent Taxpayer from Obtaining a Refund of Plea Agreed Upon Taxes – Los Angeles Income Tax Planning and Income Tax Litigation Attorney Bruce Givner

by Bruce Givner on November 13, 2013

Owing taxes, Taxpayer Mirando agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion, as well as conspiracy. Mirando also signed a plea agreement with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) admitting that he owed over $400 thousand in taxes, interest, and penalties for tax years 1995, 1996, 200, and 2004. After paying what he owed for the four tax years in question and serving a prison sentence, Mirando filed suit in U.S. District Court for a refund, arguing that there was no language in the plea agreement that prevented or estopped him from arguing that he actually owed less than the total amount he paid. Mirando v. United States, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135659 (ND OH 2013).

When a person successfully raises an argument in a legal proceeding, he or she receives a benefit. The doctrine of judicial estoppel prevents that person from benefitting again by arguing a contrary position in a later legal proceeding.

The Court found that Mirando agreed that the tax he paid was correct, and not ambiguous, when he:

1. initialed the page in the plea agreement that spelled out his total tax liability, and

2. signed the plea agreement which spelled out that there were enough facts to prove at a trial that he owed the total tax liability.

Further, because Mirando received a reduced prison sentence because he agreed to pay this tax and plead guilty, he had received a benefit which would be compounded if the Court were to grant him a refund.

Givner & Kaye focuses on sophisticated income tax planning and compliance, tax litigation and procedure, estate planning, and asset protection plans for individuals and businesses in Beverly Hills, Calabasas, West Los Angeles, Hollywood, and other areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and Santa Barbara Counties. Call Los Angeles Estate Planning and Asset Protection Plan Attorneys Givner & Kaye at (310) 207-8008 today.

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