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COVID again limits Tax Court activity

US Tax Court building WDC exterior_img-local_3997

The coronavirus has affected the U.S. Tax Court again.

Last week, the federal court that presides over taxpayer disputes with the Internal Revenue Service announced that it was going back to mail and other deliveries only.

"Effective Friday, October 30, 2020, and until further notice, the United States Tax Court will be suspending its in-person acceptance of hand-delivered documents," according to a press release by the court.

Timely mailings only: The announcement noted that in addition to the "timely mailing" of petitions or notices to "comply with statutory deadlines … of appeal," the Tax Court's eAccess and eFiling systems remain operational.

The timely mailing standard is the same as that applied to taxpayers' filings with the IRS.

Internal Revenue Code Sec. 7502 says that to be timely mailed, the court petition or notice of appeal must be postmarked on or before the last day for filing and mailed using the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) or a designated private delivery service.

One step forward, two back: The no-personal-paperwork is a backtrack of the Tax Court's reopening this summer.

Like most other public sector and government offices, the U.S. Tax Court closed its building in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When things seemed to be more under control, the Tax Court resumed accepting hand-delivered documents.

Now, with COVID-19 resurging, it's back to the March, no-contact status.

This situation actually has been in effect since May 29 for court proceedings.

That day, the Tax Court announced that, "To accommodate continuing uncertainties relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, and until further notice, Court proceedings will be conducted remotely."

And while these Tax Court documents are not technically tax forms, they come after the IRS and taxpayers disagree on what's on those official tax forms. So this change (again) in how these legal papers will be handled for the foreseeable coronavirus future earns them early mention in the Tax Form Tuesday directory.

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Coronavirus Caveat & More Information
In 2020, we're all dealing with extraordinary circumstances,
both in our daily lives and when it comes to our taxes.
The COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to reduce its transmission
and protect ourselves and our families means that,
for the most part, we're focusing on just getting through these trying days.

But life as we knew it before the coronavirus will return,
along with our mundane tax matters.
Here's hoping that happens soon!
In the meantime, you can find more on the virus and its effects on our taxes
by clicking Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Taxes.






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