By Jason Bramwell
Due to the federal government shutdown that began last Tuesday, the US Tax Court in Washington, DC, canceled trial sessions scheduled to begin on October 7 and 8 in several cities throughout the country.
According to a post on the Tax Court website, trial sessions scheduled to start October 7 in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, and New Orleans were canceled as well as trial sessions in Pittsburgh and Washington that were supposed to begin October 8.
Taxpayers who were notified to report for trial in one of these cities will receive notification of a new trial date.
The Tax Court has been closed since the federal government shutdown began October 1. It stopped accepting petitions, motions, other papers, and electronic filings at noon Eastern time last Tuesday. The Tax Court also announced it will serve no documents during the shutdown.
Due dates previously set by the Tax Court for filing a document or completing discovery will be extended for the number of days that court operations have been suspended, up to a maximum of five days from the date the court resumes operations. If the extended deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a holiday, the due date will be extended to the next business day.
In the September 30 Contingency Plans for Suspension of Tax Court Operations in the Event of a Government Shutdown document, the Tax Court stated it lacks the authority to extend statutory filing deadlines imposed in the Internal Revenue Code. For example, Section 6213(a) states that a taxpayer must file a petition with the court to redetermine a deficiency within ninety days of receiving the deficiency notice. Also, according to Section 6330(d)(1), a taxpayer must file a petition to review a determination involving a proposed lien or levy within thirty days after the notice is mailed.
"Hand delivery to the courthouse is not available during the period the court is closed due to a government shutdown", the Tax Court stated in the contingency plan. "Taxpayers must comply with the statutory deadlines by timely mailing a petition to the court. Timeliness of mailing of the petition is determined by the US Postal Service's postmark or the delivery certificate of an approved private express delivery company."