In Uncategorized on 10/14/2014 at 19:04

No, not the “long and the short and the tall”, as credited to Fred Godfrey and sung by generations of UK servicepeople. Rather, this is a call to Treasury and IRS to update Notice 2004-83, 2004-2 C. B. 1030, 12/27/04, to expand the current list of blessed Private Delivery Services (PDS), whose receipts satisfy Section 7502’s “mailed is filed” rule.

To recap the blessed communion, fellowship divine:

“1. DHL Express (DHL): DHL Same Day Service; DHL Next Day 10:30 am; DHL Next Day 12:00 pm; DHL Next Day 3:00 pm; and DHL 2nd Day Service;

“2. Federal Express (FedEx): FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2 Day, FedEx International Priority, and FedEx International First; and

“3. United Parcel Service (UPS): UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS Worldwide Express Plus, and UPS Worldwide Express.”

These, only these,  and no others need apply.

I’ve blogged again and again how any but the blessed come up short in the race to 400 Second Street, NW, in Our Nation’s Capital.

So, IRS and Treasury, why not list whatever FedEx, UPS and DHL have to offer? Why are these animals more equal than the others?

Now Ch Judge Michael B.  (“Iron Mike”) Thornton winds up and delivers a five-page strikeout to Tara E. Lewis, Docket No. 14393-14, filed 10/14/14.

Of course Tara E. sent the petition to IRS and not Tax Court, but that’s no biggie; IRS’s communications are licensed to mislead and confuse the taxpayer.

“Even confusing correspondence, written or verbal, during the administrative process cannot override the clearly stated deadline in the statutory notice of deficiency. Such confusion is not uncommon given that the IRS frequently treats as separate processes or proceedings what taxpayers view as a single dispute. Taxpayers not infrequently have also conflated this Court with an IRS unit, but the IRS is a completely separate and independent entity from the Tax Court.” Order, at p. 4.

Tara E. did, she says, send the petition on the last day of the Magic Ninety by FedEx, but she used FedEx Express Saver. Now check out the sacred scripture hereinabove set forth (as my high-billing colleagues say). Unlike old Abou Ben Adhem, FedEx Express Saver’s name doesn’t lead all the rest, it isn’t even there.

Worse, Tara E. got the purple-and-grey FedExer to write the date in pencil on the package, and Tara E. swears the dude told her that the package would be marked that date in the Book of Gold or wherever FedEx keeps its sacred writings.

Well, of course it doesn’t, the computer puts in the next day. And that’s what counts.

So Tara E. sent her petition to the wrong place, by the wrong means, relying on the wrong advice, and, as far as Ch J Iron Mike is concerned, a day late.

Ch J Iron Mike spends four pages discussing postmarks, mailed-is-filed rules, and what FedEx personnel mark on airbills. This doesn’t help Tara E., although practitioners and petitioners would do well to read and heed.

Now maybe Tax Court’s video about starting a case makes it clear that Tax Court isn’t IRS, but I don’t think so. I would propose a statement front and center on Tax Court’s website that Tax Court isn’t the IRS, it’s independent, and anything to do with Tax Court must go to 400 Second Street, NW, nowhere else. List the Magic Mailing Methods. And amend the list to include whatever services these PDS offer.

There follows the usual brush-off.

“Hence, while the Court is sympathetic to petitioner’s situation and understands the unintentional character of the inadvertence here, the serious health issues, and the good faith of petitioner’s efforts, the fundamental nature of the filing deadline precludes the case from going forward. As a Court of limited jurisdiction, the Court is unable to offer any remedy or assistance when a petition is filed late. Rather, the Court is barred from considering in anyway petitioner’s case or the correctness of her claims. Unfortunately, governing law recognizes no reasonable cause or other applicable exception to the statutory deadline.” Order, at pp. 4-5.

Here ends the lesson.


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