Fletcher H. Hyler - Page 26

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          the postmark date on an envelope falls within the prescribed                
          period on or before the prescribed date.  To establish that a               
          return has been timely filed, we require reliable testimony or              
          other corroborating evidence of the circumstances surrounding the           
          return's preparation and mailing.  See, e.g., Estate of Wood v.             
          Commissioner, 92 T.C. 793 (1989), affd. 909 F.2d 1155 (8th Cir.             
          1990); Mitchell Offset Plate Serv., Inc. v. Commissioner, 53 T.C.           
          235, 239-240 (1969); see also Schwechter v. Commissioner, T.C.              
          Memo. 2000-36; Rakosi v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1993-68, affd.            
          without published opinion 46 F.3d 1144 (9th Cir. 1995).                     
               Petitioner argues that Stone timely mailed a 1995 return on            
          his behalf on or before August 15, 1996.  Thus, he concludes,               
          assessment of his 1995 taxes on February 7, 2000, was beyond the            
          applicable period of limitations.  There is neither reliable                
          testimony nor corroborating evidence, however, sufficient to                
          prove his claim.                                                            
               Petitioner entrusted the preparation and filing of his                 
          return to Stone.  Stone and her former office assistant testified           
          about office procedures in 1996.  Stone testified that she                  
          stamped petitioner’s name on the return.  The assistant testified           
          that the return would have been hand delivered to a window at the           
          local post office, but no proof of mailing was obtained.  Stone             
          claimed that a check was enclosed with the return and never                 
          cleared the bank, but her testimony about the amount of the check           

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