IRS RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATION: Appeals recently revised Letter 3193, Notice of Determination, to reduce potential confusion about how to calculate the petition deadline. We initiated the change in response to stakeholder feedback, including concerns raised by some tax practitioners and the National Taxpayer Advocate. After considering a number of options, we determined that the most efficient and effective approach would be to use the same language that is used in other Appeals letters to explain the deadline. We are unaware of any taxpayer complaints related to the language in the revised letter.
TAS RESPONSE: The current version of Letter 3193 reads “If you want to dispute this determination in court, you must file a petition with the United States Tax Court within 30 days from the date of this letter.” TAS acknowledges that this is an improvement from the previous version, which read “If you want to dispute this determination in court, you must file a petition with the United States Tax Court within a 30-day period beginning the day after the date of this letter.” However, the revised language may still confuse taxpayers. For instance, what does the term “within” mean to the non-expert taxpayer? Is the date of the letter day one or day zero? The best way to protect taxpayer rights is to include a specific date by which taxpayers must file their petition in Tax Court.
Unlike a notice of deficiency, which legally requires a specific date by which the taxpayer must file his or her petition in Tax Court, the IRS is not required to include a specific date in a notice of determination. However, the process for including a date on the notice of deficiency is included in Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) 126.96.36.199.4, which Appeals employees follow. It is unclear from the IRS response why this process could not apply to the notice of determination given that it will eliminate a lot of uncertainty for taxpayers.
ADOPTED, PARTIALLY ADOPTED or NOT ADOPTED: Not Adopted
OPEN or CLOSED: Closed
DUE DATE FOR ACTION (if left open): N/A