Understanding the United States Tax Court Litigation System
The United States Tax Court provides a judicial forum for the resolution of a variety of federal tax disputes, including disagreements regarding the results of an IRS audit. A key advantage to litigating a proposed deficiency in this forum is that a taxpayer may file a petition in the U.S. Tax Court without first paying the proposed tax or penalty in dispute.
Trials before the U.S. Tax Court are subject to “de novo” review of the IRS determination where the liability is in dispute, meaning that taxpayers are entitled to a fresh review in which they can offer evidence concerning their tax matters, even if that evidence was not submitted during the original income tax audit.
How the U.S. Tax Court System Works
At the Law Office of Williams & Associates, P.C., our attorneys litigate cases in the U.S. Tax Court. While we resolve most of these cases prior to trial, our attorneys are prepared to fully litigate your case. We have briefed a wide variety of tax matters, including cases involving factual and legal disputes related to proposed income tax deficiencies for individuals and businesses, collection due process hearings and actions for determination of relief from joint and several liability (commonly known as “innocent spouse” cases).
The U.S. Tax Court has its own set of rules of practice and procedure that are distinct from the rules in U.S. District Courts or state courts, so it can be advantageous to retain a law firm that is familiar with the rules of this forum in addition to the substantive tax rules.
The U.S. Tax Court is based in Washington, D.C., but holds trial sessions in major cities throughout the country. In California, trial sessions are held in San Francisco, Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego. Managing Shareholder Betty Williams and Of Counsel Todd Luoma are admitted to the U.S. Tax Court and are able to represent clients nationwide in any city where the Tax Court holds trial sessions.
In addition to litigating cases in the U.S. Tax Court, our attorneys also handle tax matters before other federal courts, such as the U.S. District Courts and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and we advise on tax matters before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.