Frivolous Tax Positions

Item 13 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 2010-17 identifies the following as a "frivolous" tax position:

(13) In a transaction using gold and silver coins, the value of the coins is excluded from income or the amount realized in the transaction is the face value of the coins and not their fair market value for purposes of determining taxable income.

Under 26 USCA §6702, any person who submits a tax return or other specified submission based on positions that are the same as or similar to positions identified as "frivolous" may be subject of a $5,000 penalty, if the submission is not withdrawn within 30 days of receipt of an IRS notice that the position has been identified as "frivolous".

Interestingly, in response to a 2015 Freedom of Information Act inquiry, the IRS only identified two cases handed down during the mintage moratorium and an order relying on such case law as the basis for its categorization of this position as frivolous.