Statute of Limitations Not Tolled If Return Not Properly Signed.

The petitioner submitted what he thought was a joint income tax return, but IRS sent it back for lack of the spouse's signature.  On audit for the tax year involved, the petitioner claimed that IRS could not review the return because the three-year statute of limitations had expired.  However, the IRS claimed the statute was not tolled because a legitimate return for the year was not filed.  The court agreed with the IRS because the return did not substantially comply with the rules for a properly filed joint return, and there was no tacit consent by the other spouse to filing the joint return, and the petitioner did not sign the spouse's name on the return nor try to fix the problem when the IRS sent the return back to the petitioner.  Reifler v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-199.

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