Los Angeles Tax Litigator Bruce Givner Discusses the 90 Day Statute of Limitation for Filing a Tax Court Appeal

by Bruce Givner on July 3, 2012

“Though White v. the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is an opinion that may not be treated as precedent in any other tax matter, it gives some understanding of how the U.S. Tax Court may decide in a similar situation,” said Los Angeles Income Tax Attorney and Tax Litigator Bruce Givner.  White v. The Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, T.C. Summary Opinion 2012-53.

The IRS sent a notice of deficiency to Scott White on August 30, 2010, which stated that any petition to the Tax Court had to be filed no later than November 29, 2010.  A subsequent letter from an IRS employee told White he had until December 14, 2010 to file a Tax Court petition.

White filed his Tax Court petition on December 6, 2010.  The IRS asked the Tax Court to dismiss White’s petition because it was not filed within 90 days of the date the notice of deficiency was served.

The Tax Court first examined U.S. Postal Service Form 3877 - Firm Mailing Book for Accountable Mail the IRS, which the IRS presented to verify that it had timely issued the notice of deficiency to the taxpayer.  However, it was neither signed by a Postal Service employee nor stated the number of items the Postal Service received.  Furthermore, a certification from the custodian of electronic delivery records at the Postal Service to verify that a U.S. Postal Service tracking printout which showed the notice of deficiency was mailed on August 30 is hearsay.  “Unless falling under an exception to the hearsay rule, which is not applicable here,” noted Givner who practices in Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Calabasas, “hearsay evidence is not admissible.  As a result, the Court dismissed the IRS’s attempt to toss the taxpayer’s petition out of court.”

If you are faced with a tax controversy, Givner & Kaye focuses on income tax planning and tax litigation in Beverly Hills, Calabasas, West Los Angeles, Hollywood, and other areas of Los Angeles County.  On the first and third Thursday of every month, Givner & Kaye hosts its MCLE & CE accredited series - "Thursday Insights."   If you have questions regarding passive losses, call Los Angeles Tax Attorneys Givner & Kaye at (310) 207-8008 today.

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