Timely delivered petition when court was closed because of weather

Timely delivered petition when court was closed

The U.S. Tax Court today issued an opinion concluding that when the Tax Court’s offices—as were all federal government offices—were closed on account of a winter storm, the taxpayer’s petition could not be delivered and thus was deemed to be timely delivered on the next business day, when the court reopened for business.

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The case is: Guralnik v. Commissioner, 146 T.C. No. 15 (June 2, 2016). Read the Tax Court’s opinion [PDF 143 KB]


The taxpayer’s petition was due on February 17, 2015. However, the petition was sent to the Tax Court on February 13, 2015, by a type of private delivery service that was not then a “designated delivery service.” 

The federal government and the Tax Court were closed on February 17, 2015, because of a winter storm in Washington, D.C.  For that reason, the taxpayer’s petition could not be delivered to the Tax Court on that day. The petition was delivered to the Tax Court on the next day—February 18, 2015—when the court reopened for business. 

Today, the Tax Court held that the taxpayer could not invoke the timely mailed as timely filed rule because the petition was not sent by a “designated” private delivery service, but because the petition was filed on February 18, 2015—the first accessible day that was not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday—it was timely filed, and the court had jurisdiction to hear this case.

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