Failure to Send Change of Address Form to the IRS Meant Taxpayers Missed the Deadline for Petitioning Tax Court

Deficiency Notice Went to Taxpayers “Last Known Address” (Damien and Shayla Gregory v. Comm., 152 TC No. 7 (Mar. 13, 2019))

Damien and Shayla Gregory moved from Jersey City, New Jersey, to Rutherford, New Jersey. After they moved, they filed their joint 2014 Federal income tax return using their old address. While an IRS audit was ongoing, the Gregorys submitted Forms 2848 (POA) and 4868 (extension), showing their new address. The IRS mailed a notice of deficiency to the Gregory’s at their old address. The Gregorys filed an untimely petition. The IRS moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, arguing that the taxpayers filed an untimely petition. The Gregorys argued that the IRS failed to send the notice of deficiency to their last known address.

IRS Change of Address Form

A notice of deficiency provides sufficient notice if sent to the taxpayer’s last known address (§6212(b)(1)). A taxpayer’s last known address is the address shown on the most recently filed and properly processed return unless updated by clear and concise notification of a different address. The court held that neither the Form 2848, not the Form 4868, constitute a return for purposes of updating a taxpayer’s last known address. Thus the IRS’ notice of deficiency was sufficient.

Tax Practitioner Planning

This case shows the importance of Form 8822, Change of Address. Failing to use the change of address form cost these taxpayers the opportunity to be heard by the tax court.

Also see. R.H.Tilden v. Comm, CA-7 15-3838 (Jan. 13, 2017), where attorney’s failure to register a letter could have saved a tax court petition and an appeal to CA-7.