Extension of Deadline for Tax Court Filings
May 1, 2020
IRS has added a new FAQ to its set of FAQs on the extension of filing and payment deadlines; the new FAQ is on the subject of the extended deadline for filings in the United States Tax Court.
The Tax Court building has been closed, because of COVID-19, since the middle of March. In Notice 2020-23, IRS extended most due dates for items falling due between April 1, 2020 and July 14, 2020 to July 15, 2020. That extension of time included filings with the United States Tax Court.
In a 2016 Tax Court case involving a time period when the Tax Court was closed during a snowstorm, the Tax Court concluded that because it had no rule regarding days when its clerk's office was closed, it could borrow from the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and treat filings received on the next day after closure as timely. (Guralnik, (2016) 146 TC 230).
IRS adds FAQ on the extension of Tax Court filing deadline. IRS has now added the following FAQ: Q. How does this notice operate with the Tax Court case of Guralnik v. Commissioner, 146 T.C. 230 (2016), which applied Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6(a)(3)(A) to provide additional time for the filing of a petition when the clerk’s office was closed due to a snow emergency? Does the taxpayer get the benefit of both periods? (added April 27, 2020)
A. Yes, a taxpayer will get the benefit of both periods. For example, if the last day for filing a petition fell on March 19, 2020, the date that the Tax Court closed, the taxpayer will get the benefit of Guralnik from March 19, 2020 and the benefit of this notice from April 1, 2020 until July 15, 2020. If the court were to reopen before the expiration of the notice postponement period, the taxpayer will get the benefit of the postponement until July 15, 2020. If the court reopens after the notice postponement period (that is, after July 15, 2020), the due date for the taxpayer’s petition is extended to the Tax Court’s reopening date under Guralnik and the relief under Notice 2020-23 does not apply.
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