'As Seen On Tv' Doesn't Apply To Tax Guidance

Not surprisingly, the Tax Court has ruled that taxpayers cannot cite a television commercial that mischaracterizes certain tax rules as authority to support the position taken on a tax return.

In 2009, Ralph and Jacqueline Grosso purchased a townhome for their adult son. Although the Grossos claimed a first-time homebuyer credit of $6,500, they readily admitted that they did not, and never intended to, use the townhome as their principal residence.

The couple claimed that they were entitled to the tax credit because a television commercial they saw did not clarify that the new home being purchased had to be used as the purchaser's primary residence to qualify for the tax credit. The court concluded that a misunderstanding of the tax law does not excuse the clear requirements of the Internal Revenue Code (Grosso v. U.S., 108 AFTR 2d 2011, Nov. 30, 2011).

You are responsible for paying your taxes correctly. Be sure to check with your tax adviser to ensure correct advice.

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