Some people love to hit deadlines. I am not one of those people.

I don’t like to take chances, especially when it comes to tax deadlines. There’s always the chance that a rush of Swifties for concert tickets will shut down the internet while I’m trying to e-file. Or that a criminal fleeing the scene of a bank robbery might bring down power lines just as the printer is spitting out the last tax form for her to sign. or a wandering zebra being chased by the police could stop traffic while I’m on my way to mail a petition.

(Admittedly, I have quite the imagination when it comes to potential problems.)

I like to plan, and that includes planning for when things go wrong. Because when it comes to tax deadlines, one mistake can change everything. Roy A. Nutt and Bonnie W. Nutt found out the hard way.

Presentation of the petition

The facts are not up for debate. The parties agree that the IRS mailed a notice of deficiency to Nutts. The notice explained that the deadline to file a petition to challenge the deficiency was July 18, 2022.

The Nutts electronically filed their petition at 11:05 pm on July 18, 2022, in Alabama.

The problem? The US Tax Court is located in Washington, DC, where it was 00:05 am on July 19, 2022.

As a result, the IRS filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction because the petition was late.


The Tax Court noted that its “jurisdiction in deficiency cases is based on a valid notice of deficiency and a timely petition.”

Low section 6213(a), a petition must be filed within 90 days after the notice of deficiency was mailed (150 days if the notice is addressed to a person outside the United States). If the notice of deficiency specifies a last day to file a petition that is after the 90th day, then the deadline is extended to that specified date. And, as with many other tax filing deadlines, if the last day falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday in the District of Columbia, the deadline is extended to the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

Here, even though the notice of deficiency was mailed on April 14, 2022, the notice said that the last date to file a petition was July 18, 2022.

Generally, a petition is “filed” when received by the Washington, DC Tax Court, unless the timely filing rule applies under section 7502a document is not considered archived until it is received.

The timely submission rule does not apply to an electronically filed petition. When section 7502 does not apply, the Court “must look at the date the Court received and filed the ‘petition’ to determine whether it was timely filed.”

While taxpayers may not think to check the statutes, something most tax professionals routinely do, the the rules are published on the website of the Tax Court. The rules say, among other things, that when it comes to electronic filing, “A document will be considered timely filed if it is filed electronically by 11:59 p.m. ET on the last day of the applicable filing period.” the presentation”. .”

furthermore, the court website it also walks you through how to file a petition electronically. The page states: “You may have received a notice in the mail from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Your electronically filed Petition must be received by the Court no later than 11:59 pm ET on the last date for present. Petitions received after this date may be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.”


Unfortunately, the Nutts’ petition was not filed on time because it was filed in Washington, DC, after the last day of filing. The Court has no authority to extend the term. As a result, the case was dismissed.


If your heart sank a little while reading this case, I’m right there with you. It’s always frustrating when taxpayers don’t get a chance to make their case because of a missing detail. But much of the tax law depends on dates, deadlines and details. they matter

And while a wandering zebra isn’t likely to miss a deadline, it’s smart to plan ahead for your presentation. As noted above, you generally have 90 days to file a return in Tax Court after receiving a notice of deficiency. Don’t just take notice: take immediate action to resolve your issue. If you are representing yourself, familiarize yourself with the rules and come up with a plan of attack. And if you choose to hire a tax professional, be sure to communicate early enough to allow time to craft a quality response and file it on time.

the case is Roy A. Nutt and Bonnie W. Nutt v. commissioner.

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