Even IRS agents can make simple mistakes in business, such as violating the old adage to “put it in writing.” Even so, the Tax Court in a recent case believed the IRS agent’s testimony regarding an oral contract she had with her mother-in-law.

Pamela Brooks, an IRS tax compliance officer, agreed with her mother-in-law, Beulah Bias, to put $34,000 of improvements into Bias’s house in Los Angeles. At the time, Brooks lived in the house, but moved out shortly after the improvements were complete.

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