Georgia taxpayers have to file their federal income tax returns on time or incur possible penalties, according to the Internal Revenue Code Section 6651. For returns that are mailed, this means making sure that they are mailed on time. The timely filing rule also applies to electronically filed returns. However, there are reasons that an e-return may be sent back.

Treasury Regulation Section 301.7502-1(d) affirms that the mailbox rule is applicable to returns that are filed electronically and that those returns have to be transmitted from an authorized electronic filing vendor and received by the IRS in the correct form. The Internal Revenue Manual also asserts that electronically filed returns that are rejected by the IRS but have an electronic postmark that indicates they were transmitted timely will be considered timely if they are re-transmitted or mailed no later than 10 days after a notification of rejection has been issued.

Some taxpayers may find that their e-filed returns are rejected by the IRS’s electronic filing system for reasons other than those related to the proper transmission of the return. For instance, returns can be rejected if a dependent claimed on the return has already been claimed by another taxpayer. Based on the test established by Beard v. Commissioner, 82 TC 766 (1984), if a paper return claiming the dependent was mailed in timely, even if the claim was incorrect, the return would be considered a valid return that was mailed in on time.

An attorney who practices tax law may assist clients with resolving disputes with the IRS regarding income taxes, tax refunds or tax assessments. The attorney may also assist clients with filing their taxes correctly. Counsel may be provided on how to properly report business income and what steps to take if a return has been selected for an audit.