The Tax Court has resumed operations as of January 28, 2019. However, the IRS has provided answers to some questions posed by taxpayers and tax professionals about the government shutdown’s impact on Tax Court cases.
Tax professionals who mailed or sent documents to the Tax Court that were returned should:
- mail via U.S. Postal Service. or resend the document using a designated private delivery service, and
- include a copy of the original envelope showing the postmark or other proof of mailing.
Also, the taxpayer or tax professional should retain the original envelope or container.
Canceled Trial Sessions
The Tax Court canceled trial sessions for:
- January 28, 2019 (El Paso, TX; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; San Diego, CA; and Lubbock, TX);
- February 4, 2019 (Hartford, CT; Houston, TX; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; St. Paul, MN; Washington, DC; and Winston-Salem, NC); and
- February 11, 2019 (Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; San Diego, CA; and Mobile, AL).
The Tax Court will inform taxpayers whose trials were canceled of their new trial dates. The Tax Court has not yet canceled the February 25, 2019, trial sessions, but will decide on or before February 7, 2019. The February 25 trial sessions include:
- Atlanta, GA;
- Chicago, IL;
- Dallas, TX;
- Kansas City, MO; and
- Philadelphia, PA.
Until further notice, taxpayers whose trial sessions were not canceled or whose trials were not yet scheduled should expect their cases to proceed as normal.
Obtaining Tax Court Case Information During Shutdown
Taxpayers should contact their representative to get information about their case. Also, the Tax Court’s website is the best source of information about pending cases.
Right now, many IRS personnel are on furlough and are not available to answer questions until the government reopens. After the IRS reopens, Appeals and Chief Counsel will try to resolve cases as quickly as possible.
The IRS continues to process tax payments and send out bills during the shutdown. Taxpayers who receive a collection notice for a tax liability disputed in the Tax Court should wait until the government reopens. The IRS attorney assigned to the case will determine if the assessment was premature and, if so, request an abatement.
Practitioners who would like more information about the shutdown’s impact on the Tax Court and tax season can register for the American Bar Association (ABA) webinar, “How to Advise Taxpayers During the Government Shutdown,” on January 28, 2019. The panel will discuss the impact of the government shutdown on the 2019 filing season and will offer best practices for working with taxpayers during the lapse in appropriations.