On April 15, 2021, the New York Tax Appeals Tribunal (“Tribunal”) dismissed a taxpayer’s exception to an order of an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) on the grounds that the exception was not timely filed. The Tribunal determined that the ALJ’s order was properly mailed to the taxpayer on June 11, 2020, that an exception to the order was due on or before July 13, 2020, and that the taxpayer filed the exception on or after July 20, 2020. The taxpayer asserted that the filing delay was due to circumstances relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the Tribunal explained that, while the taxpayer may have had good cause to request an extension, an extension was not requested within the 30-day time period provided by statute.
While not explicitly addressed in the decision, the Tribunal’s conclusion appears to be consistent with recent guidance on the Tribunal’s website regarding the applicability of Executive Orders issued by Governor Cuomo in 2020 that tolled statutes of limitations for certain judicial proceedings. In contrast to guidance issued by the New York City Tax Appeals Tribunal (“City Tribunal”), which stated that the Governor’s Executive Orders tolled deadlines for City Tribunal proceedings, the Tribunal stated on its website throughout 2020 that it does not have “the authority to waive statutory deadlines” and therefore “any petition, exception, or request for an extension of time to file an exception must be filed (postmarked or put in the custody of an authorized delivery carrier) by the current statutory deadline.” Eversheds Sutherland’s article addressing the conflicting approaches to the applicability of the Executive Orders, and the need for Governor Cuomo to clarify the applicability, can be found here.