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Appeals court rejects tax case of McVeigh's lawyer

  Tax  -   POSTED: 2009/03/31 16:33

An appeals court affirmed Timothy McVeigh's lawyer cannot claim a charitable tax deduction for donating prosecution materials from the Oklahoma City bombing case.


The three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a tax court ruling that threw out the deduction claimed by Stephen Jones for material he collected as lead defense counsel in McVeigh's trial for the 1995 bombing that killed 168 people.

Jones told The Associated Press on Monday that the courts agreed the value of the gift is not deductible, but the appellate court rejected what Jones characterized as "ill-tempered language" in the tax court's opinion of his case.

Jones said the Internal Revenue Service treated him and his wife, Sherrel, with "a cavalier, condescending, unprofessional attitude and behavior from beginning to end."

He said he asked that the agency's Oklahoma City office be disqualified from the case because some IRS workers there had experienced losses in the bombing, which injured hundreds of people and damaged areas of downtown.

A spokesman for the IRS in Dallas, Clay Sanford, declined comment on the case because of federal disclosure regulations that prohibit public discussion of individual tax matters.

An appraiser hired by Jones valued the materials at $294,877, and Jones and his wife claimed a tax deduction for that amount. He said he received the deduction for four years before the IRS rejected it and sent Jones a notice of tax deficiency for $14,785.

In upholding the tax court ruling, the Denver-based appellate court said the size of the deduction Jones could claim was limited to the amount he had paid or invested, which was none.

Jones gave the prosecution and defense materials to the University of Texas, which he attended as an undergraduate. The archive includes transcripts, FBI reports, correspondence, videotapes and other materials.


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