And Chicago tax lawyer Robert E. McKenzie, who has defended rich folks claiming losses on everything from deer farms to race horses to yachts, says the Romneys -–despite the fact that Ann Romney’s statements on what dressage has done for her personally suggests lack of profit motive– likely did all the paperwork right and can assert they thought they’d make a profit, even if they never do. “The way I would argue it is `this horse competed in the Olympics and we’ll breed it and make money off the foal’,’’ says McKenzie. “When you’re that rich you can afford to have talented tax advisers.”
Over the years the IRS offer in compromise program has been the subject of a great deal of criticism by Congress, the National Taxpayer Advocate and taxpayer representatives. The new initiative represents the most dramatic liberalization of IRS settlement policies ever announced. It represents a welcome change from an agency which has always placed substantial roadblocks to those seeking to compromise their tax obligations.