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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Constantine G. CRISTO, Petitioner-Appellant, v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent-Appellee.

No. 18-71788

Decided: July 24, 2019

Before: SCHROEDER, SILVERMAN, and CLIFTON, Circuit Judges. Constantine G. Cristo, Pro Se Teresa Ellen McLaughlin, Attorney, Curtis Clarence Pett, Esquire, DOJ - U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division/Appellate Section, Washington, DC, William J. Wilkins, Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service, Washington, DC, for Respondent-Appellee


Constantine G. Cristo appeals pro se from the Tax Court's decision, following a partial bench trial, upholding the Commissioner of Internal Revenue's determination of deficiencies and penalties, after concessions, for tax year 2002. We have jurisdiction under 26 U.S.C. § 7482(a)(1). We review de novo the Tax Court's conclusions of law and for clear error its factual findings. Meruelo v. Comm'r, 691 F.3d 1108, 1114 (9th Cir. 2012). We affirm.

The Tax Court did not clearly err in determining that Cristo was not entitled to deduct educational expenses for his son as a business expense under 26 U.S.C. § 162. See Lee v. Comm'r, 723 F.2d 1424, 1426 (9th Cir. 1984) (describing when educational expenses may be deductible as business expenses).

Contrary to Cristo's contention, there is no authority that dictates that the Tax Court should have shifted the burden of proof to the Commissioner.


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