Estate of Isabelle N. Greenwood, Deceased, Donna Norquist and Christine N. Stamey, Independent Co-Executrixes - Page 12

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               In Ward v. Commissioner, supra, the taxpayer sent to the               
          Commissioner a letter containing the taxpayer’s new address.  Id.           
          at 518.  During the period for processing the address change, the           
          Commissioner prepared a notice of deficiency with the taxpayer’s            
          old address as it appeared in the Commissioner’s computer.  Id.             
          at 519.  The taxpayer did not receive the notice of deficiency              
          and knew nothing of the deficiency until after the 90-day period            
          for petitioning this Court had expired.  Id.  The Court of                  
          Appeals for the Fifth Circuit concluded that the Commissioner did           
          not exercise reasonable diligence in ascertaining the taxpayer’s            
          last known address.  Id. at 522.  The Commissioner’s agent should           
          have noticed that the taxpayer’s computer file displayed the                
          letters “PN” (pending notice) and a posting code, signifying a              
          pending address change.  Id.  The Court of Appeals held that the            
          notice of deficiency was invalid, noting that, under section                
          6212(a):  ”To be effective, a notice of deficiency must be mailed           
          to the taxpayer at his ‘last known address’.”  Id. at 521.                  
               In Mulder v. Commissioner, supra, the taxpayer relocated and           
          did not notify the Commissioner of the change in his address.               
          Id. at 209.  In an effort to secure an extension of the                     
          applicable period of limitations on assessment from the taxpayer,           
          the Commissioner mailed to the taxpayer’s old address, but                  
          received back as undeliverable, two extension requests.  The                
          Commissioner also mailed the notice of deficiency by certified              

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Last modified: May 25, 2011