The IRS and Tax Court Litigation

The United States Tax Court has jurisdiction of federal tax issues. Unlike other venues, the Tax Court allows a taxpayer to file a lawsuit before paying the tax liability the IRS claims is owed.

In order to dispute tax liability assessed by the IRS in Tax Court, the taxpayer must file a petition within 90 days of the mailing of the deficiency notice. If the amount of deficiency in dispute is $50,000 or less, the taxpayer may elect to proceed under the Tax Court’s small tax case procedure, which is less formal but not appealable. If the case involves a larger deficiency or the small tax case procedure is not elected, specific evidentiary rules apply and the case is either settled or proceeds to a bench trial. Jury trials are not available in Tax Court.

If you dispute the tax liability assessed by the IRS, an experienced tax attorney can help you evaluate the best course of action. It is best to hire an attorney when proceeding with a Tax Court petition to ensure your rights are protected and to obtain the best result for you.

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