Attorney-at-Law

“YES, WE HAVE NO JURISDICTION – MAYBE”

In Uncategorized on 06/17/2016 at 16:02

IRS, replete with the never-say-die spirit that made America great, once again claims that the computer-generated postage mark can satisfy Section 7502 (mailed-is-filed). This time it’s Matthew Eric Baham & Jennifer Michelle Baham, Docket No. 25666-14S, filed 6/17/16, but Judge Wherry isn’t having any.

IRS wants to lay Tilden’s ghost. Remember Tilden? Thought not, so check out my blogpost “Yes, We Have No Jurisdiction – Part Deux,” 12/3/15. Tilden went with Stamps.com, and IRS agreed Tilden beat the tag. But The Judge With a Heart, STJ Armen, checked out the USPS website and found the posties got their paws on Tilden’s petition a day late and much more than a dollar short.

Judge Wherry orders briefs, Matt & Jen stand mute, but IRS flings their brief into the fray.

“The brief states that respondent disagrees with this Court’s analysis and holding in Tilden v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2015-188 and Boutlbee v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2011-11.” Order, at p. 1.

Well, Judge Wherry, an internet whiz, takes judicial notice in a two-page prolegomena to a future exegesis anent USPS.com as a counter to the endicia.com gambit. Endicia.com looks like Stamps.com on steroids.

“After reviewing respondent’s brief, the Court tentatively disagrees that there is no indication that the petition was not timely deposited. The petition was sent via the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) by first-class mail. The envelope containing the petition bears a mailing label with a ‘postmark’ by ‘endicia.com’ of October 22, 2014. The envelope also bears a ‘certified mail’ sticker with the following 22-digittracking number: 9407110200881362698267. We take judicial notice of the USPS tracking information and Frequently Asked Questions on the USPS website. The tracking information obtained from the USPS indicated that “preshipment information” was sent to the USPS on October 23, 2014, but no time is listed. The USPS Frequently Asked Questions page titled “USPS.com Tracking Updates” indicates that pre-shipment displays when information about the package has been provided to USPS, but the package has not yet been processed through the USPS network. USPS.com Tracking Updates, U.S. Postal Serv., http://faq.usps.com/?articleId=220964 (last visited June 17, 2016). The petition’s tracking information further indicates that the petition was ‘accepted’ by USPS at 8:03 AM on October 23, 2014. USPS provides a status of accepted “when an item has been physically tendered to the Postal Service.” Id. (emphasis added).” Order, at pp. 2-4. (Footnotes omitted, but one is a two-page law review note on judicial notice, and the other debates whether the USPS time stamp is local time or one uniform time for all its timestamps. It’s Friday afternoon, and it’s all too long to quote here even if it weren’t Friday afternoon.)

Whatever, the parties can’t confer jurisdiction on Tax Court by agreement, or by not raising the issue. Only Congress can do that, and Congress…sorry, this is a non-political blog.

So, Matt & Jen, dish. What did you do and when did you do it?

And IRS, discuss whatever you know about USPS tracking, endicia.com’s methodology, and all that jazz.

Takeaway- Consider whether you want to use certified mail if you’re using non-USPS postage at the eleventh hour.

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