Let's dig into the facts to set up the very nice procedural issues behind the statute of limitations in the case and why it had expired. Students of tax procedure will understand the scenario almost instinctively. I will set out each key fact with appropriate commentary and citation to relevant provision.
1. The indictment for filing a false return was obtained on April 16 2013. There is a six year statute of limitations from the date of filing. § 6531, here. That would mean the the filing of the return had to be on or after April 16, 2007.
2. The defendant filed his 2006 tax return in February 2007, well before the prescribed due date of April 15, 2007 prescribed in § 6072(a), here. Section 6501(b)(1), here, provides that "a return * * * filed before the last day prescribed by law * * * shall be considered as filed on such last day." See also DOJ CTM 7.02[a] General Rule, here. If we stopped at this point, the defendant's 2006 return would be deemed filed on April 15, 2007, one day outside the statute of limitations and the indictment would be untimely.
3. April 15, 2007, however, was a Sunday and the following day (Monday) was a holiday. Section 7503, here, provides: "When the last day prescribed * * * for performing any act falls on Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, the performance of such act shall be considered timely if it is performed on the next succeeding day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday." (Bold face supplied by JAT.) Now, as written, this statute does not change the last day prescribed by law, but simply says that returns filed on the next succeeding business day are deemed timely filed. The normal due date is still the last day prescribed by law (April 15, 2007 in this case). So, if the return had been filed by Tuesday April 18, it would not have been timely filed but would only have been considered to have been timely filed by the April 15, 2007 due date. This analysis is confirmed in IRM 126.96.36.199.3 (02-24-2010), Running of the Statute of Limitations, here, which says:
4. If the statutory due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the filing of the return on the next succeeding business day is considered timely (see 26 USC §7503). However, the statutory due date remains unchanged. Therefore, the calculation of the statute of limitations in investigations involving early filed returns or failures to file should use the statutory due date regardless of the day of the week on which that date falls. See Rev. Rul. 81-269, 1981-46 I.R.B.13.All of that is pretty straight-forward statutory analysis. The IRM is just a recognition of the straight-forward statutory analysis.