What to Expect in U.S. Tax Court
Reasons to Take Your Matter Before the United States Tax Court:
- You’ve recently undergone an audit or examination.
- You have taken the proper administrative steps to argue your case but still receive a notice of deficiency or notice of determination that you believe is wrong.
- You have undergone a collection due process hearing and disagree that the appeals officer took all the appropriate steps and considered all your evidence.
A case is started in U.S. Tax Court by filing a Petition. Things to keep in mind when filing a petition:
- There are final statutory deadlines for when the Petition must be filed by, so it is important to get your Petition in on time.
- A taxpayer can choose to file the petition themselves, to seek help at a tax clinic, or to hire a private attorney to represent them.
- The Petition must set forth the errors you believe the IRS made and include a brief description of why you believe these are errors.
- The Petition must also be signed and include the taxpayers’ name, address and phone number.
- The Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure should be consulted to make sure you have all of the required information in your petition.
- If you are filing a joint petition with a spouse, their information must also be included, and the spouse should sign the petition.
- The petition must be filed with the Tax Court in Washington DC.
- A statement of taxpayer ID and a designation of place of trial should be filed in conjunction with the petition.
- A taxpayer should also remember to pay the appropriate fee when filing their petition and include a copy of their notice of deficiency or notice of determination.
- Timeliness can be determined by referring to Internal Revenue Code Sections 6213 and 7502.
- There are no extensions for filing the petition.
If a taxpayer still has questions about the petition, they should meet with an attorney or feel free to refer the United States Tax Court’s website.
After the petition is filed
- The petitioner or taxpayer will receive an acknowledgment of filing from the Court which is a Notice of Receipt of Petition.
- Your case will also be assigned a docket number.
- An Answer will be filed by the IRS in response to your petition. The answer will provide the name and address of the IRS attorney assigned to the case.
- You typically have 45 days to reply to the answer if a reply is necessary.
Thereafter, if the taxpayer would like to request the court to take a particular action, a motion will need to be filed. The more complex the tax issue is, the more difficult it becomes to know what actions are most appropriate to take.
I strongly encourage you to see the advice of a tax lawyer who is authorized to practice before the U.S. Tax Court if you have any questions or concerns about your case.
Looking for a tax attorney in Blackhawk, Danville, Walnut Creek, the greater East Bay or Sacramento?
Christina Weed has worked with clients in San Francisco, the Walnut Creek & Oakland East Bay, and throughout the United States. As a licensed attorney with an LL.M. in Taxation from the University of San Diego, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy, Christina offers a unique combined focus on Trusts & Estates, Tax Law, Tax Litigation, and Business Law to help develop a solution to your unique situation.
Disclaimer: The tips and materials provided on this page are for informational purposes only, offered as public service. No information on this website should be considered legal advice or used as a substitute for legal advice. For legal advice, you should contact an attorney directly.