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Bringing a Case to U.S. Tax Court

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Bringing a Case to U.S. Tax Court

The U.S. Tax Court provides taxpayers with a judicial forum to dispute tax issues with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The Tax Court is not connected in any way to the IRS.   

What Types of Cases Does the Tax Court Preside Over?

Typical cases the Tax Court hears are tax disputes concerning:

  • Notices of deficiency
  • Notices of transferee liability
  • Failure to abate interest
  • Worker classification 

How Do I File a Case in Tax Court?

A case may be taken to tax court prior to payment of the disputed amount.  When filing a case for Tax Court you must follow specific timeframes.  Be sure to speak with an attorney to learn of the timeframes because the court will not permit extensions.  When you submit your case you will have to pay a filing fee and choose a city to have your case heard in.  While your case is pending, your taxes owed will be suspended until a decision is reached. 

What Happens Once My Case Is Filed?

Once you file your case, a date will be set for your trial.  You will be notified of the date, time and location of the trial.  Your case will be conducted before one judge without jury, and you can represent yourself or have a representative.  Because most cases are settled by mutual agreement, you may not need a trial.  However, if a trial is conducted, in due course a report will be issued by the presiding judge covering the facts and decision. 

What If My Tax Dispute Involves a Small Amount of Money?

If your tax dispute involves less than $50,000, you may choose to have your case tried using small tax case procedures.  Generally, small tax cases are less formal, require less evidence, and you will receive a decision in less time.  If, after submitting your claim, you wish to have your case tried as a small tax case, you may request the change. 

May I Appeal the Court's Decision?

You may file an appeal within 90 days of receiving the court's decision.  However, small tax cases may not be appealed. 

Do I Need a Tax Attorney?

An attorney experienced in tax disputes with the IRS can help you decide if you should file your case in Tax Court or have it tried as a small tax case.  Moreover, an attorney may help you reach a settlement with the IRS before having to reach court.  If you want to appeal a Tax Court decision, a tax lawyer can represent you.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 03-27-2014 02:40 PM PDT

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