This post was originally published on Forbes Apr 1, 2015
Even people who believe that some people have risen from the dead (We are having a holiday about that this week), tend not to believe that it happens all that often. This probably accounts for Professor Adam Chodrow's alarm that our legal and tax systems are ill-prepared for the coming Zombie Apocalypse. Somebody dies, rises as a zombie and does stuff and then there is a cure found. Is the stuff they did as a zombie, you know, stuff they did?
Unlike a traditional statute of limitations, the 90-day period of section 6213(a) generally cannot be tolled or extended. Jurisdictional statutes such as section 6213(a) are conditions on the waiver of the Federal Government's sovereign immunity and must be strictly construed. Section 6213(a) provides that a petition may be filed by the taxpayer during the 90-day period. Petitioner's suspension under Cal. Rev. & Tax. Code sec. 23301 deprived it of the capacity to sue under section 6213(a) and prevents its corporate revival from prejudicing respondent's defense of lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
Cases allowing revived corporations to continue prosecuting lawsuits filed at times when the corporations were suspended involve cases in courts of general jurisdiction and claims that were not barred by a statute of limitations or other statutory restriction.
Lastly, petitioner argues that public policy and equity compel a holding that would allow this case to go forward. However, this Court is a court of limited jurisdiction and, as such, it lacks general equitable powers. See Stovall v. Commissioner, 101 T.C. 140 (1993). We lack the authority to relieve petitioner from the clear jurisdictional requirement of section 6213(a).
Because petitioner lacked the capacity to petition this Court during the 90-day period provided by section 6213(a), this Court lacks jurisdiction over this case. Respondent's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction will be granted.