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Senators Urged to Amend Sec. 7502(c)

Updating the so-called 'Mailbox Rule'

Update to 'The Mailbox Rule in 2023' posted May 5.


The American Institute of CPAs (the AICPA) is lobbying congress to amend the tax code to allow tax documents to be deemed submitted when transmitted rather than when received and processed by the IRS.

Currently, IRC 7502 states that items submitted to the IRS 'shall be deemed to [have been submitted on] the date of delivery or the date of payment'. It requires a postmark date before the prescribed deadline. This is the so-called 'Mailbox Rule'.

However, in a recent tax court case, the court held that Sec 7502 only applied to physically mailed objects and that electronic submissions were deem filed when received. In this case, the taxpayer submitted documents at 11:05pm local time on the last day to file a petition. The court rejected the petition as untimely because it was submitted at 12:05pm in Washington DC, where the tax court is located.

Recognizing the irreversible trend to electronic processes and procedures, the National Taxpayer Advocate urged congress to modernize the IRS and allow the Department of the Treasury to apply the mailbox rule to electronic payments and filings. The AICPA followed up on this recommendation with letters to Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) expressing strong support for the change. Both Senators serve on the Senate Finance Committee.