Here's one that doesn't happen very often: A self-represented individual took on the IRS and its battalion of attorneys and legal staff–and won! The issue was whether the nurse could deduct the cost of her M.B.A. degree. U.S. Tax Court Special Trial Judge Stanley Goldberg ruled that she could. Aside from favorable facts, factors that weighed in her favor were her "obsessive organization," "fearlessness," and "meticulous record-keeping"–traits it would behoove law students to hone. According to the Wall Street Journal article, Judge Goldberg found her to be "articulate and well-prepared. [Something] too many taxpayers are not." For those interested, read the U.S. Tax Court opinion here (on the court's website). LRC Legal Database RIA Checkpoint has a good analysis of the case in Practical Tax Strategies Preview, one of its WG&L Journals. To access this resource, click here. On the Search screen, click News/Current Awareness, then input the petitioner's name as a search: singleton-clarke. Regulations governing the deduction of business expenses can be found at 26 CFR Sec. 1.162-1, et seq., and those specifically covering Expenses for Education for the 2005 case are at 26 CFR Sec. 1.162-5.
For all of you teaching, researching or studying U.S. Federal Income Tax, check out the LRC's Course Guide for Tax Research & Communication. Find particular sources owned by the LRC and go directly into the online format by clicking the link. While you're on our website, check out another LRC publication series, Research & Information Guides. There, you'll find several guides tailored specifically to tax, such as Federal Tax: Legislative History Sources. You'll also find research guides on topics applicable to your tax research, such as federal administrative law research and finding current legislation.