Monday, October 21, 2013

Tax Court Announcement on Effect of Government Shutdown (10/21/13)

The United States Tax Court, here, has issued an announcement regarding the resumption of Tax Court operations after the Government Shutdown.  The announcement is here.  I think that, for most readers of this blog, the key part of the announcement relates to statutory filing deadlines during the shutdown.  The following is the announcement
Statutory Filing Deadlines 
The Court lacks authority to extend statutory filing deadlines imposed in the Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.). For example, I.R.C. section 6213(a) provides that a taxpayer must file a petition with the Court to redetermine a deficiency within 90 days after the mailing of a notice of deficiency, and I.R.C. section 6330(d)(1) provides that a taxpayer must file a petition to review a determination involving a proposed lien or levy within 30 days after the mailing of the notice of determination. Hand-delivery to the Courthouse was not available during the period the Court was closed due to the Federal government shutdown. During that period, taxpayers were required to comply with the statutory deadlines by timely mailing petitions to the Court. Timeliness of mailing of the petition is determined by the United States Postal Service’s postmark or the delivery certificate of an approved private express delivery company.
The Code sections cited are 6213, here, and 6330(d)(1), here.  As I remind my students, Section 6213(a) is the key code section for the prepayment remedy afforded by the Tax Court.  That section kicks in provisions from other sections (such as suspension of the statute of limitations) to assure that prepayment remedy.  The key point here is that the petition for redetermination has be filed in the 90-day period from the date of the notice of deficiency.

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