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Federal Tax

Tax Court: 90-Day Filing Deadline Jurisdictional; Can’t Be Equitably Tolled

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

Code Sec. 6213(a)‘s 90-day time limit to file a petition with the Tax Court is jurisdictional and, thus, cannot be equitably tolled, according to the Tax Court. (Hallmark Research Collective(11/29/2022) 159 TC No. 6)

The Tax Court had previously ordered dismissal of the taxpayer’s deficiency case for lack of jurisdiction because the taxpayer’s petition was filed late, for purposes of Code Sec. 6213(a), i.e., not 90 but 91 days after the IRS mailed its notice of deficiency.

But after the Supreme Court decided Boechler, P.C. , (S Ct 2022) 129 AFTR 2d ¶2022-584 (see SCOTUS: 30-Day Filing Deadline for Tax Court Review of CDP Determination Isn’t Jurisdictional, which involved Code Sec. 6330(d)(1)‘s 30-day limit to petition the Tax Court for review an IRS Appeals Office determination), the taxpayer moved to vacate the Tax Court dismissal on the grounds that the deadline to file a deficiency case is a non-jurisdictional statute of limitations subject to equitable tolling. The taxpayer had requested that the Tax Court case be reopened to give it an opportunity to show cause for equitable tolling of the limitations period.

The Tax Court here held that the “text, context, and relevant historical treatment” (as laid out in Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick(S Ct 2010) 559 US 154), of Code Sec. 6213(a) confirms Congress’s intention that the deadline to file a deficiency case be jurisdictional. The Court concluded that the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Boechler does not apply to the 90-day deadline of Code Sec. 6213(a).

Because the deadline of Code Sec. 6213(a) is jurisdictional, it cannot be equitably tolled, the Court said.

For more information on the Code Sec. 6213(a) 90-day time limit, see Checkpoint’s Federal Tax Coordinator ¶U-2301.

 

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