“Tax Court Mail Logjam May Lead To Premature Assessments”
A backlog in mail processing at the U.S. Tax Court due to precautionary shutdowns in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak may lead to some taxpayers receiving premature Internal Revenue Service assessments, despite facing filing delays beyond their control.
…Abbey B. Garber is a partner at Thompson & Knight LLP who served in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel for more than 30 years. Garber said the petition filing deadlines are a bit more nuanced due to a provision in the Internal Revenue Manual as well as a coronavirus-related notice, which extended deadlines for Tax Court petitions and other tax filings.
Section 18.104.22.168 of the manual says if a taxpayer in the U.S. does not petition the Tax Court or agree to a deficiency within 105 days, the case is defaulted and the deficiency may be assessed immediately after the 105 days have passed. The manual provides these 15 extra days because someone could mail a petition on the 90th day. The IRS wants to make sure that during the normal course of business, and not during a pandemic, there are buffer days for a petition to be processed at the Tax Court and sent to the IRS, Garber said.