Effective Tax Court Representation and Advocacy
When your tax dispute cannot be fairly resolved at the administrative levels through settlement negotiations with the IRS or the appeals process, your case may need to go to Tax Court.
United States Tax Court
The Tax Court is composed of 19 members who are appointed by the President for a 15-year term, as well as senior judges, and special trial judges. It is physically located in Washington, D.C., but the judges travel to various designated cities around the nation to conduct trials. Trials are conducted before a judge, without a jury, and taxpayers may either represent themselves or be represented by a person admitted to practice before the Tax Court—such as Robert Boeshaar.
A trial in Tax Court is a fact-finding proceeding and the parties generally do not present arguments at Tax Court. Upon the conclusion of a trial, the judge may order the parties to file briefs setting forth their respective arguments, usually within 60 or 90 days. The Court will review these briefs and the evidence presented at trial, and make its decision. A decision can take a year or more to obtain.
However, one advantage of filing a petition in the Tax Court is that, unlike the U.S. District Courts or the Court of Federal Claims, a taxpayer is not required to first pay the disputed tax before commencing a case in Tax Court. Another advantage is that the Internal Revenue Service is prohibited from either assessing or collecting the disputed tax until the Tax Court’s decision becomes final. Thus, taking your case to Tax Court may buy you much needed time to accumulate the funds you need to pay your tax liability, even if you lose the case.
The odds are generally stacked against taxpayers in Tax Court, especially those without representation. Generally, it should be utilized as a last resort in situations where the IRS is completely disregarding the taxpayer’s testimony or legal argument. Otherwise, it is much more advantageous and cost-effective to try to reach a settlement with the IRS in order to resolve your dispute.
If your case does need to go to Tax Court, it is vital that you have an experienced attorney to represent you and fight for your best interests. Contact our firm today to set up a FREE consultation and discuss whether it could be beneficial to take your case to Tax Court.