In re Luban, No. 11-13633-BKC-AJC

In re Luban, No. 11-13633-BKC-AJC, 2012 WL 694515, at *1–*3 (Bankr. S.D. Fla. Mar. 1, 2012) (Cristol)

$200 additional operating expense in IRM is not allowable because not part of Local Standards transportation operating expenses. “[T]he Bankruptcy Code provides that a debtor’s expenses are to be defined by the standards promulgated by the IRS, not by the IRM; the IRM is neither incorporated into the IRS Local Standards nor the Bankruptcy Code. . . . The additional $200 operating expense that the Debtors seek is an adjustment which is not part of the Local Standards table and not included in the section of the IRM that outlines the Local Standards. . . . In [Ransom v. FIA Card Services, N.A., __ U.S. __, 131 S. Ct. 716, 178 L. Ed. 2d 603 (Jan. 11, 2011)], the Supreme Court expressly stated that the IRS guidelines are not incorporated into the Code. The Supreme Court used the IRM merely as commentary to assist it in interpreting statutory language. . . . The Debtors in this case do not seek to use the IRM to interpret statutory language but rather to create a new deduction that does not exist in the IRS Standards or the Code. . . . Debtors are not entitled to a deduction upon anticipating they may later incur additional expenses. . . . Debtors must actually incur some expense for a deduction to be considered applicable . . . . Debtors do not incur an additional $200 in operating expenses simply by virtue of the age of their cars. . . . [T]he law, as it exists, seems to punish the frugal. Had the Debtors bought and financed newer cars, prior to filing their bankruptcy petition, they probably would have qualified to pay less to their creditors and would not have to worry about the burden of higher maintenance expenses. Unfortunately, the Court must apply the law as it exists and not modify or change the law because of sympathy or the fact that the law might have been more logical.”

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