Columbus, Ohio Tax Litigation Attorney
The tax lawyer at the Columbus, Ohio-based law firm Porter Law Office, LLC has experience with successfully resolving disputes before the U.S. Tax Court. A tax attorney’s goal in every tax controversy matter should be to resolve the tax dispute quickly, efficiently, at the earliest stage possible, and, if possible, without litigation. Occasionally, obtaining a successful result requires litigating before the Tax Court.
Columbus, Ohio-based tax lawyer Matthew R. Porter, Esq. LL.M. has experience navigating the U.S. Tax Court’s practices and procedures and will help you resolve your tax dispute before the Tax Court. Contact the experienced tax attorney at Porter Law Office, LLC to discuss your case.
What is the Tax Court?
The U.S. Tax Court is established by Congress under Article I of the Constitution and by I.R.C. § 7441. By statute the Tax Court has 19 judges, appointed by the President, each for a 15-year term. See I.R.C. § 7443. The Tax Court provides taxpayers a forum to dispute the tax deficiency proposed by the IRS without having to pay the underlying tax liability. The Tax Court is based in Washington D.C., but its judges travel to hear cases in various cities around the country.
When the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issues a notice of deficiency, also known as the “statutory notice of deficiency” or “90-day letter,” it is indicating an intention to assess a tax deficiency. See Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.) § 6212. In other words, having not resolved the case after your IRS audit and subsequent IRS Appeal, the IRS formally notifies you that it is assessing more tax than what was reported on your federal tax return. If you cannot pay the tax deficiency, then you have 90 days from issuance of the notice of deficiency to petition the Tax Court.
Tax Court Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction generally refers to the types of cases that a court can hear. The Tax Court mainly hears tax deficiency cases. Again, a deficiency is simply an understatement of tax, as opposed to an underpayment. The Tax Court can also hear cases involving declaratory judgment actions (such as tax-exempt status of an organization), disclosure actions, innocent spouse relief determinations, and lien and levy actions.
The majority of tax disputes are held in Tax Court because you can appeal a deficiency without having to pay the tax liability assessed by the IRS.
Tax Court’s Small Case Procedure
By statute, taxpayers may elect to have their case heard under the Tax Court’s small case procedure (an “S case”). To qualify for an S case in a deficiency matter, the amount of the tax deficiency plus penalties (but not interest) must be less than $50,000. In collection actions, the total unpaid tax liability plus penalties and interest must be less than $50,000.
S case trials are held more cities than regular Tax Court case. Discovery and pretrial procedures are less formal. Finally, the federal rules of evidence are more relaxed in S cases. It is important to understand, however, that there is no appeal to an S case decision, and the decision has no precedential value. I.R.C. § 7463(b).
Tax Court Outcomes and Appeal Rights
Most Tax Court cases are settled prior to trial. If you settle with the IRS, the settlement is entered by the court as a stipulated decision. If the case does not settle, and a decision is rendered at trial, the presiding judge will issue a Division Opinion (which have precedential value and are published) or a Memorandum Opinion (which have no precedential value, but are privately published). The case is closed by an entry of decision stating the amount of deficiency or overpayment.
Appeals from the Tax Court go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the taxpayer resided at the time he or she filed the Tax Court petition. I.R.C. § 7482(b)(1).
Contact an Experienced Tax Attorney
Tax Court Litigation | Columbus Tax Lawyer
The tax lawyer at the Columbus, Ohio law firm Porter Law Office, LLC has extensive tax litigation experience representing taxpayers in disputes before the U.S. Tax Court. By hiring Porter Law Office, LLC to handle your tax dispute, you will be engaging a skilled litigator and tax attorney who can navigate the complex practices and procedures of the U.S. Tax Court. When obtaining a successful result requires litigating before the Tax Court, be certain that you hire a tax lawyer who has the experience you need. Contact Columbus tax lawyer Matthew R. Porter, Esq. LL.M. for a free consultation to discuss your case.
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