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Filing a Day Late Can Be Timely Under Tax Court E-Filing Rules and So is Filing an Income Tax Return Ten Days Later After E-File Rejection

Posted on Mar. 22, 2016

Today’s brief post discusses a couple of technology related issues. The first comes on a tip of the hat to Lew Taishoff, who posted on Ryder v Commissioner. Ryder involved the IRS’s moving on January 30, 2016 to file amended answers. The problem from the taxpayer’s perspective was that at trial calendar the IRS was ordered to move to amend the answers by January 29, 2016. With the January 30 filing, taxpayer objected, claiming the filing was out of time.

Judge Holmes, in his direct style, addressed the issue, starting his order with the question “When is a deadline of January 29, 2016 met by filing a document on January 30?” He answered as follows:

Petitioners objected because the motions were filed out of time. All ready to pounce on dilatory counsel, the Court set up a conference call on March 8, 2016. Respondent’s counsel patiently pointed out to us and petitioners’ counsel the Court’s own website, where we have posted the Practitioners ‘ Guide to Electronic Case Access and Filing. Page 32 plainly states that “A document is considered timely filed if it is electronically transmitted no later than 6:00 a.m. Eastern time on the day after the last day for filing.” United StatesTax Court, access.htm (last visited March 21, 2016).

The issue in Ryder reminds me of the rewritten Chapter 4 of the Saltzman/Book treatise IRS Practice and Procedure which I have been working on with Marilyn Ames. In the rewritten chapter (coming out in the next month or so) we discuss the numerous developments in the 7502 timely mailing equals timely filing rules (many discussed in PT). Given the shift to e-filing since the original time that the book was written, we also added an extensive discussion of the e-file rules, including when IRS rejects an e-filed individual income tax return that cannot be rectified taxpayers “must file the paper return by the later of the due date of the return or ten calendar days after the date the IRS gives notification that it rejected the electronic portion of the return or that the return cannot be accepted for processing.” (as per the Handbook for Authorized E-file Providers of Individual Income Tax Returns). The Handbook at page 30 (Pub 1345) also goes on to state that the taxpayer when snail mailing the return should include an explanation why they are filing the return after its due date.

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