FAQs about the Tax Court closure

On December 28, 2018, the Tax Court website announced that it would remained closed until further notice. For those who had hearings scheduled or filing deadlines in January there has been uncertainty.

The IRS recently provided an update. For instance, any returned mail can be re-sent with a copy or the envelope with proof of mailing date (keep the original for your records). In this post, we address several other common issues and concerns.

Does interest continue to accrue during a shutdown?

Yes, and payment processing was an essential operation that never stopped. The only way to avoid interest from accruing on back taxes is to make a payment. This applies even if you have a pending Tax Court case.

How quickly will the Tax Court reschedule trial sessions?

The Tax Court canceled the February 4, 2019 trial sessions in Washington D.C. and other cities along with January 28 and February 11 sessions. Those who had cases on these dates will be given new trial dates. How soon remains an unknown however.

Trial sessions set for February 25, 2019 may still happen. The court will make a decision in early February.

For those who are trying to resolve their case with Appeals or Chief Counsel, the notice says “we will make our best efforts to expeditiously resolve cases.” But as anyone who has been out of the office for several days knows, it takes time just to wade through emails. Expect delays as things get back up and running.

Were collection notices still sent out?

You may have received an IRS collection notice. This may have been a premature assessment, if the IRS had not received or processed your petition. You can ask the IRS to abate a premature assessment once the government reopens.

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