The United States Tax Court has announced that it will shut down beginning Friday, December 28, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. and will remain closed until further notice.
However, trial sessions scheduled for the weeks of January 7 and 14, 2019, will proceed as scheduled.
During the shutdown, eFiling and eAccess will be available for taxpayers. Remember that, at least initially, deadlines are not extended during the shutdown. Therefore, taxpayers should still pay attention and comply with statutory deadlines for filing petitions or notices of appeal. You can do so by timely mailing a petition or notice of appeal to the Court.
Timeliness of mailing of the petition or notice of appeal is determined by the United States Postal Service’s postmark or the delivery certificate of a designated private delivery service. The United States Postal Service is not affected by the shutdown. By statute, the U.S. Post Office is an “independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States.” So while the Post Office is privileged under U.S. law (it has a monopoly on the delivery of first-class mail, for example), it’s not technically run by the government nor is it funded by taxpayers. In fact, the Postal Service hasn’t received federal subsidies from taxpayers for more than 30 years (with limited exceptions related to voting). (For more about the USPS, check out this earlier article.)
It’s important to continue to pay attention to deadlines during the shutdown. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will maintain some functions and those are outlined in their contingency plan. For more on what remains open at the IRS through December 31, click here.
For updates, you can check back here or you can check the Tax Court website.