Attorney-at-Law

“AND YOUR EYE UPON THE SCALE”

In Uncategorized on 03/25/2016 at 15:59

Back on June 30, 2015, I quoted The Weavers’ classic injunction to the union miner in part, in my blogpost “Keep Your Hand Upon the Dollar,” of even date therewith, as my high-priced colleagues would say.

Today the next line is in focus, as Ch J Michael B (“Iron Mike”) Thornton tells the story of Jonathan A. McCarroll & Rashelle McCarroll, Docket No. 23102-15S, filed 3/25/16.

But it’s not really the story of Jon & Rash. Unhappily for them, it’s the story of their trusty EA, hereinafter named, styled and denominated (again as my high-priced chums would say) as “BJ.”

BJ mailed in Jon’s & Rash’s petition, and used Stamps.com for postage. I’ll not comment further on Stamps.com, as I’ve discomposed enough electrons in the past thereupon.

Though BJ claims same was timely posted, the only USPS notation thereon was “Returned to sender. Returned for add’l postage $1.10″. Order, at p. 1.

Upon receipt, BJ fired the petition back (29 days late) with a note stating: “The enclosed paper work (sic) was placed in the mail and postmarked 8/13/15. Unfortunately it was returned to our office by the USPS indicating the package required additional postage.” Order, at p. 1.

I hate to see a fellow EA get the worst of it, but BJ is out, and so are Jon & Rash.

BJ’s original postmark was obliterated by Tax Court’s irradiation process, but enough was left to show that it was a dollar and ten cents short. Ch J Iron Mike, though about to leave the Chieftainship, still is a stickler.

“Although section 7502, I.R.C., allows a timely mailed petition to be treated as timely filed, that section mandates that the envelope bearing the petition be ‘postage prepaid, properly addressed to the agency, officer, or office with which the document is required to be filed.’. Sec.7502(a)(2)(B),I.R.C. The ‘postage prepaid’ element is thus an explicit statutory condition precedent for reliance on section 7502, I.R.C.” Order, at pp. 2-3.

And no sad tale, however tragic or lugubrious, cuts any of the Section 7502 ice in Tax Court.

“While the Court is sympathetic to petitioners’ situation and understands the unintentional character of the inadvertence here, 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 when a petition is filed late. Governing law recognizes no reasonable cause or other applicable exception to the statutory deadline.” Order, at p. 3.

Which brings me back to today’s headline. Not only must you keep your hand upon the dollar (or dollar and ten cents), you must also keep your eye upon the scale. The postage scale.

 

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