U.S. Tax Court: Timely filed petition - KPMG Global
Share with your friends

Tax Court: Timely filed petition, postage from approved commercial vendor

U.S. Tax Court: Timely filed petition

The U.S. Tax Court today issued a “reviewed opinion” in a case concerning an envelope that had a postmark from Stamps.com, but did not have a U.S. Postal Service postmark.


Related content

The Tax Court majority concluded the taxpayers’ petition was timely mailed and thus timely filed. The case is: Pearson v. Commissioner, 149 T.C. No. 20 (November 29, 2017)


Read the Tax Court’s opinion [PDF 145 KB] that includes both a separate concurring opinion and a dissenting opinion.


A summary of the facts in this case reveals:

  • The last day for the taxpayers to petition the Tax Court was April 22, 2015. 
  • The court received the taxpayers’ petition via certified mail on April 29, 2015. 
  • The envelope containing the petition was properly addressed and had been deposited at a U.S. post office with sufficient postage prepaid through Stamps.com (a U.S. Postal Service (USPS)-approved commercial vendor). 
  • Affixed to the envelope containing the petition was a Stamps.com postage label bearing the date April 21, 2015—the date on which the postage was paid and the label printed. 
  • The envelope did not bear a USPS postmark. 
  • The USPS entered the envelope into its tracking system for certified mail on April 23, 2015.

The Tax Court held that the date appearing on the Stamps.com postage label was to be regarded as a “postmark[] not made by the United States Postal Service” under section 7502(b). The court concluded the envelope containing the petition was timely mailed under the regulations implementing section 7502(b), and thus was timely filed under section 6213(a). 

The Tax Court looked to a decision of the Seventh Circuit, Tilden v. Commissioner, 846 F.3d 882 (7th Cir. 2017) given “the facts of the present case substantially match the facts at issue in Tilden….”

© 2019 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”) is a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm.

The KPMG logo and name are trademarks of KPMG International. KPMG International is a Swiss cooperative that serves as a coordinating entity for a network of independent member firms. KPMG International provides no audit or other client services. Such services are provided solely by member firms in their respective geographic areas. KPMG International and its member firms are legally distinct and separate entities. They are not and nothing contained herein shall be construed to place these entities in the relationship of parents, subsidiaries, agents, partners, or joint venturers. No member firm has any authority (actual, apparent, implied or otherwise) to obligate or bind KPMG International or any member firm in any manner whatsoever. The information contained in herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 4366, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.

Connect with us


Want to do business with KPMG?


Request for proposal