Tax Court

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Articles by Alvin Brown
Tax Preparation
Offer In Compromise
State Offers in Compromise
Levy
IRS Tax Liens
IRS Tax Liens - continued
IRS Tax Liens - continued 2
Levy - continued
Audit Techniques Guide
Congressional Contacts
Criminal Investigation
D.O.J Criminal Tax Manual
Tax Litigation
Penalty
Installment Agreements
Statute of Limitations
Frivolous Tax Argument
Interest Abatement
IRS Misconduct
IRS Abuses
Tax Fraud
Fraud Statutes
Bankruptcy
Tax Reform Legislation
Tax Shelters
Tax Court
Trust Fund Penalty
Legislation
Innocent Spouse Relief
Important Links

 

Tax Court

United State Tax Court

 http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/

 

Search Engine for Tax Court Cases

 http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/UstcInOp/asp/HistoricOptions.asp

 

 Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure

 http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/notice.htm

 

 Tax Court Forms

 http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/notice.htm

 

Office of the Clerk of the Court, 202-606-8754
(1) General procedure in and practice before the Tax Court;
(2) General information.

Administrative Office, 202-606-8751
Obtaining the Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Admissions Section, 202-606-8736
Admissions procedures for practice before the Tax Court.

Appellate Section, 202-606-8757
(1) Filing of notices of appeal from Tax Court decisions;
(2) Other procedures relating to appellate review of Tax Court decisions.

Copywork Office, 202-606-8906
Obtaining copies of documents pertaining to cases.

Docket Section, 202-606-8777
(1) Documents and pleadings filed subsequent to petitions;
(2) Action taken on documents filed;
(3) Status of cases.

Office of Human Resources, 202-606-8724
Employment with the Court.

Petitions Section, 202-606-8764
Information as to petitions filed.

Public Files Section, 202-606-8727
Inspecting case files.

 

 

 

 

1.

How do I begin a case?

2.

How do I get a copy of the Rules of the Tax Court?

3.

How do I get admitted to the bar of the Tax Court?

4.

What is the procedure for filing a petition?

5.

When should I file my petition?

6.

What should I attach to my petition?

7.

How do I know if you received my petition?

8.

What does it cost to begin a case?

9.

Do I need an attorney?

10.

How many copies do I file?

11.

How do I obtain copies of documents filed in a case?

12.

In which cities does the Tax Court hold trial sessions?

13.

Are cases decided by the Tax Court appealable?

14.

What is the procedure for appealing a decision of the Tax Court?

15.

What is the Tax Court's mailing address?

16.

What are the Tax Court's hours of operation?


 

1.  How do I begin a case?

A case is commenced by filing a petition. The Tax Court's Rules of Practice and Procedure provide detailed instructions concerning the preparation and filing of a petition. Where the amount in dispute qualifies for treatment as a small tax case, see Petition for Small Tax Cases.

 

2.  How do I get a copy of the Rules of the Tax Court?

A copy of the Rules may be obtained for $22.00 by writing to the Administrative Office, United States Tax Court, 400 Second Street , N.W., Washington , D.C. 20217 , and enclosing a check or money order for that amount payable to the " Clerk , United States Tax Court." Please do not send cash. The Tax Court Rules are also available on the Court's website. See RULES.

 

3.  How do I get admitted to the bar of the Tax Court?

Application forms and other necessary information for admission may be obtained by writing to the Admissions Clerk, United States Tax Court, 400 Second Street , N.W., Washington , D.C. 20217 . The forms are also available on the Court's website. See Forms.

 

4.  What is the procedure for filing a petition?

A petition may be mailed or hand-delivered to the Court for filing. The address of the Court is United States Tax Court, 400 Second Street , N.W., Washington , D.C. 20217 . Upon receipt, the petition is stamped "filed" by the Clerk's Office and assigned a special docket number. Once a case is assigned a docket number, that number should be shown on all future documents sent to the Tax Court.

 

5.  When should I file my petition?

To be timely filed, the petition must be actually received by the Tax Court within the time period specified in the Notice, or the petition must be mailed within the specified time period by either Certified or Registered mail, or the petition must be received in an envelope which bears a U. S. Postal service postmark within the specified time period, or the petition must be sent within the specified time period using one of the following specific services offered by designated private delivery service companies:

  1. Airborne Express: Overnight Air Express Service, Next Afternoon Service, and Second Day Service;
  2. DHL Worldwide Express: DHL "Same Day" Service and DHL USA Overnight;
  3. Federal Express: FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, and FedEx 2Day; and
  4. United Parcel Service: UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air, and UPS 2nd Day Air A.M.

 

6.  What should I attach to my petition?

The notice of deficiency, (or other document issued by the Internal Revenue Service which is the basis for jurisdiction) should be attached to the petition. Tax returns and documents in the nature of evidence should NOT be attached to the petition. You will have an opportunity to submit such documents at a later time.

 

7.  How do I know if you received my petition?

Within 1 to 2 weeks after filing your petition you will receive a Notification of Receipt of Petition from the Tax Court providing your docket number and other important information about your case.

 

8.  What does it cost to begin a case?

There is a $60.00 filing fee charged by the Tax Court for beginning a case. The fee should accompany the petition. See Rule 20(b), Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure.

 

9.  Do I need an attorney?

You may represent yourself in Tax Court. Only you can decide whether or not you need legal assistance. If you decide that you need legal assistance, the Tax Court will recognize only persons who are admitted to the bar of the Court.

 

10.  How many copies do I file?

In most cases, for pleadings (a petition, answer, or reply) one original and two copies must be supplied; for other documents (for example, a motion), one original and four copies must be supplied. For cases being processed under the small tax case procedures, one original and two copies are needed. If part of a consolidated group, an additional copy is needed for each docket number in excess of one. See Rule 23(b), Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure.

 

11.  How do I obtain copies of documents filed in a case?

The Tax Court is a court of public record and most files are available for viewing in the Public Files Section located at the Tax Court. You may also request that particular documents be copied by writing to the Copywork Section, United States Tax Court, 400 Second Street , N.W., Washington , D.C. 20217 . There is a fee for copywork.

 

12. In which cities does the Tax Court hold trial sessions?

Below is the list of cities in which the Tax Court holds trial sessions. The cities marked by asterisks (*) are those in which only small tax case trials are heard. In the other cities, both regular and small tax cases are heard.

 

Alabama :

Birmingham
Mobile

Alaska :

Anchorage

Arizona :

Phoenix

Arkansas :

Little Rock

California :

* Fresno
Los Angeles
San Diego
San Francisco

Colorado :

Denver

Connecticut :

Hartford

District of Columbia :

Washington

Florida :

Jacksonville
Miami
* Tallahassee
Tampa

Georgia :

Atlanta

Hawaii :

Honolulu

Idaho :

Boise
* Pocatello

Illinois :

Chicago
* Peoria

Indiana :

Indianapolis

Iowa :

Des Moines

Kansas :

* Wichita

Kentucky :

Louisville

Louisiana :

New Orleans
* Shreveport

Maine :

* Portland

Maryland :

Baltimore

Massachusetts :

Boston

Michigan :

Detroit

Minnesota :

St. Paul

Mississippi :

Jackson
Biloxi

Missouri :

Kansas City
St.
Louis

Montana :

* Billings
Helena

Nebraska :

Omaha

Nevada :

Las Vegas
Reno

New Mexico :

Albuquerque

New York :

* Albany
Buffalo
New York City
* Syracuse
Westbury

North Carolina

Winston-Salem

North Dakota :

* Bismarck

Ohio :

Cincinnati
Cleveland
Columbus

Oklahoma :

Oklahoma City

Oregon :

Portland

Pennsylvania :

Philadelphia
Pittsburgh

South Carolina :

Columbia

South Dakota :

* Aberdeen

Tennessee :

Knoxville
Memphis
Nashville

Texas :

Dallas
El Paso
Houston
Lubbock
San Antonio

Utah :

Salt Lake City

Vermont :

* Burlington

Virginia :

Richmond
* Roanoke

Washington :

Seattle
Spokane

West Virginia :

Charleston
Huntington

Wisconsin :

Milwaukee

Wyoming :

* Cheyenne

The cities marked by asterisks (*) are those in which only small tax case trials are heard.

 

13.  Are cases decided by the Tax Court appealable?

Decisions entered in regular cases are appealable to the United States Courts of Appeals; however, decisions entered pursuant to the simplified small tax case procedures are not appealable.

 

14.  What is the procedure for appealing a decision of the Tax Court?

To appeal a decision, a timely Notice of Appeal must be filed with the United States Tax Court, 400 Second Street , N.W., Washington , D.C. 20217 , and must be accompanied by the appropriate fee. For additional information, see Rules 190 through 192, Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure, and Rules 3(e), 13, and 14 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. NOTE: Decisions entered pursuant to simplified small tax procedures are not appealable.

 

15. What is the Tax Court's mailing address?

Mail to the Court should be addressed to:

United States Tax Court
400 Second Street, N.W.
Washington , D.C. 20217

 

16. What are the Tax Court's hours of operation?

The Tax Court is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EST), on all days, except Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays in the District of Columbia .

 Legal Holidays:

New Year's Day--January 1
Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.--Third Monday in January
Inauguration Day--Every fourth year
Washington's Birthday--Third Monday in February
Memorial Day--Last Monday in May
Independence Day--July 4
Labor Day--First Monday in September
Columbus Day--Second Monday in October
Veterans Day--November 11
Thanksgiving Day--Fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Day--December 25

The Court and Its Jurisdiction

The U.S. Tax Court is a Federal court of record established by Congress under Article I of the Constitution of the United States. Congress created the Tax Court to provide a judicial forum in which affected persons could dispute tax deficiencies determined by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue prior to payment of the disputed amounts. The jurisdiction of the Tax Court includes the authority to hear tax disputes concerning notices of deficiency, notices of transferee liability, certain types of declaratory judgment, readjustment and adjustment of partnership items, review of the failure to abate interest, administrative costs, worker classification, relief from joint and several liability on a joint return, and review of certain collection actions.

 

 

Judges

The Tax Court is composed of 19 presidentially appointed members. Trial sessions are conducted and other work of the Court is performed by those judges, by senior judges serving on recall, and by special trial judges. All of the judges have expertise in the tax laws and apply that expertise in a manner to ensure that taxpayers are assessed only what they owe, and no more. Although the Court is physically located in Washington , D.C. , the judges travel nationwide to conduct trials in various designated cities.

Life Cycle of a Tax Court Case

A case in the Tax Court is commenced by the filing of a petition. The petition must be timely filed within the allowable time. The Court cannot extend the time for filing which is set by statute.

A $60 filing fee must be paid when the petition is filed. Once the petition is filed, payment of the underlying tax ordinarily is postponed until the case has been decided.

In certain tax disputes involving $50,000 or less, taxpayers may elect to have their case conducted under the Court's simplified small tax case procedure. Trials in small tax cases generally are less formal and result in a speedier disposition. However, decisions entered pursuant to small tax case procedures are not appealable.

Cases are calendared for trial as soon as practicable (on a first in/ first out basis) after the case becomes at issue. When a case is calendared, the parties are notified by the Court of the date, time, and place of trial. Trials are conducted before one judge, without a jury, and taxpayers are permitted to represent themselves if they desire. Taxpayers may be represented by practitioners admitted to the bar of the Tax Court.

The vast majority of cases are settled by mutual agreement without the necessity of a trial. However, if a trial is conducted, in due course a report is ordinarily issued by the presiding judge setting forth findings of fact and an opinion. The case is then closed in accordance with the judge's opinion by entry of a decision.

 

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