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Autistic and Bipolar Taxpayer Didn't Qualify as Financially Disabled.
(Parker's Federal Tax Bulletin: June 25, 2013)

An appeal to a district court by a taxpayer whose refund claim was denied by the IRS because the doctors who documented his medical conditions were not treating him when his tax return was due, was untimely. Suvak v. U.S., 2013 PTC 137 (S.D. N.Y. 5/21/13).

Robert Suvak did not file his federal income tax returns for tax years 1998 through 2004 until 2010. At that time, he requested a refund for overpaid taxes for years 1998 through 2004.

The IRS denied the refund claims because Robert had filed his returns more than three years after the date they were due. He appealed on the ground that the three-year statute of limitations did not apply because he was financially disabled. He claimed that he was unable to file the returns on time because he was financially disabled due to bipolar disorder and Asperger's Disorder, a form of Autism.

An IRS Appeals Officer denied Robert's 1998 refund claim because the doctors who documented his medical conditions were not treating him when his 1998 tax return was due. The Appeals Office denied the claims for tax years 2000 through 2003 because Robert was working and, therefore, did not qualify as financially disabled.

Robert claimed he subsequently obtained letters that established he was financially disabled since 1998, but the Appeals Office refused to review those letters. On August 6, 2012, Robert brought suit in a district court. The IRS moved to dismiss, saying the suit was not timely.

The district court dismissed Robert's suit. Under Code Sec. 6532(a)(1), the court noted, the time for Robert to file suit for claims related to tax years 1998, 1999, and 2004, expired on March 31, 2012 (for tax years 1998 and 1999), and May 12, 2012 (for tax year 2004). Because Robert brought the suit on August 6, 2012, the court held that the statute of limitations had lapsed for all three claims. Moreover, the court noted, Robert had not provided any evidence that he entered into a written agreement with the IRS to extend the time for filing suit in accordance with Code Sec. 6532(a)(2), nor did the IRS records reflect that the parties entered into any such written agreement. Thus, the court concluded that Robert's claims as to tax years 1998, 1999, and 2004 were untimely and had to be dismissed.

For a discussion of the statute of limitations for obtaining tax refunds, see Parker Tax ?261,180.

Staff Editor Parker Tax Publishing


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