Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Taxman or Taxwoman, Part 2

This Blog's posting of 24 January 2006 commented on the Internal Revenue Service Office of Chief Counsel's Memorandum Number 200603025, which in turn opined on the deductibility as a medical expense of a taxpayer's gender reassignment surgery costs. Few of us tax cognoscenti doubted that the matter would eventually be brought to court by the taxpayer involved, and though Chief Counsel Memoranda and similar taxpayer-specific IRS pronouncement are always sanitized of taxpayer identification information, the taxpayer's identity was one very ill-kept secret amongst the tax practitioners and pundits.

Yesterday, the U.S. Tax Court released its opinion in the case captioned O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner. To synopsize this very lengthy opinion:

The taxpayer, born of the male gender and named Robert Donovan, decided to become a woman and, to that end, changed his name to Rhiannon G. O’Donnabhain and underwent so-called gender reassignment surgery. Donovan/O’Donnabhain claimed, as a medical expense deduction on his/her tax return, the not inconsequential health care bills associated with the latter. The IRS disallowed the deduction, Donovan/O’Donnabhain disputed the IRS's decision in the Tax Court, and the Tax Court ruled that the medical expenses for the "gender reassignment surgery" were deductible, but that the doctor bills and associated expenses for the breast augmentation were elective cosmetic surgery and thus not deductible.

My take on it:

The Court's ruling was correct and appropriate.

I personally believe that this so-called "gender identity disorder" diagnosis is, at best, a misguided politically-correct classification concocted by the medical profession.

And, it follows, that I am not too keen on having the taxpayers subsidize this so-called gender reassignment surgery (which is mutilation, plain and simple).

The failing in this case was with the medical profession, which went into the tank for certain sinister forces by treating a mental disorder as a physical one. This, in my view, is analogous to treating appendicitis not by removing the inflamed appendix, but by excision of the intestines which are inflaming the appendix. The American Medical Association's perversion of its craft sets dangerous precedent.

But the IRS should not be engaging in medical practice or medical diagnosis or the dispensation of medical advice. This means that the IRS should not issue blanket prohibitions as to what is or is not medically necessary for any given patient. This, I believe, is a far greater evil than this "gender identity disorder" hoax, which must be laid at the feet of the medical profession.

[The pro-homosexual lobby has already begun to claim this tax case as a victory for their abominable agenda. Take my word for it, or google it; I do not now wish to glorify their nefarious agenda by linking to any of their many postings on the case.].

As for Robert Donovan / Rhiannon O’Donnabhain, it is noted that he/she (a) seems to have been prompt and candid with discharging his/her tax return reporting and filing duties; (b) seems to be a reasonably well-functioning employee in the workplace, and seems to have been so even as he/she was transitioning from male self-identity to female self-identity; and (c) seems to have left no basis for any hint or suggestion that his/her past service in the U.S. Coast Guard was anything other than honorable. In the final analysis, Donovan/O’Donnabhain is more by far a victim than a wrongdoer.

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  • At 04 February, 2010 02:02, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "But the IRS should not be engaging in medical practice or medical diagnosis or the dispensation of medical advice. This means that the IRS should not issue blanket prohibitions as to what is or is not medically necessary for any given patient."

    I agree fully but your hypocritical attitude on this topic is outstanding!

    To use your own logic I would have to jump to the conclusion that you are a licensed Doctor that has many years of experience in dealing with people that have this condition rather than just an uptight and intolerant pundit that has no educational knowledge or experience with this condition.

  • At 04 February, 2010 03:21, Blogger Expatriate Owl said…

    Imprimis, I do not claim to be objective. This Blog contains my own biased views of the world. And no, I do not have any significant clinical or scholarly experience with people who, by the AMA standards, have the so-called gender identity disorder (GID).

    What is so hypocritical about my attitude? I am very, very skeptical about the validity of this GID business. This is my right.

    As great as my skepticism may be (and again, this is "very, very skeptical"), I also believe that the IRS has no business playing doctor. What is hypocritical about that? According to your logic, my skepticism regarding GID requires me to totally endorse the IRS's position that gender reassignment surgery cannot be a deductible expense.

    I stand by my contention that the medical profession has had a serious lapse in this matter, and therefore, the controversy exists. This is a layman's opinion. I do not practice medicine, and, most notably, have not and have no intention of insinuating myself into any doctor-patient relationship involving Robert Donovan / Rhiannon O’Donnabhain (nor any employment relationship, nor any lawyer-client relationship). But I do have strong views on some subjects, and do not hesitate to exercise my right to express them in this Blog.

    [It is noted that the homosexual lobby IS in fact using the O'Donnabhain case to further its nefarious agenda.].

    My posture, which you consider to be hypocritical, does allow for the possibility, my skepticism notwithstanding, that in the particular case of Robert Donovan / Rhiannon O’Donnabhain, the procedures he/she underwent were appropriate. Perhaps you should consider the possibility that this intolerant pundit may be a might more tolerant than some of his critics.


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