Owing money to the IRS can often make individuals and business owners worry about their potential federal tax cases. If you live in Washington, understanding how the tax court operates and what to expect from the process can help mitigate these concerns.
What is the U.S. Tax Court?
The U.S. Tax Court is a trial court that only hears federal tax cases. Located in Washington, D.C., however, judges travel to other major cities to hear trial cases regarding tax matters. One of the most critical aspects of this court is that the judges who hear the cases specialize in tax law and are adept at understanding complex legal arguments about federal tax laws. Another vital component of this court is that judges will make final decisions regarding the outcome of a tax litigation case. This court system prohibits jury trials.
U.S. Tax Court Small Cases Division
An essential piece of knowledge about this court is that while it specializes in federal tax issues, it has multiple divisions. If you are someone who allegedly owes the IRS $50,000 or less, you will often have your case heard in the Small Cases Division. A great aspect of having your case here is that there is less formality and less costly both in terms of money and time. However, if your tax case is within this division, it also means that the decision of the judge is final. There is no appeals process. Additionally, these cases are not typically part of the public record and are not generally published.
However, it is important to note that it is possible for your case to begin in the Small Cases Division and then move to another division. This is all done at the discretion of the judge and will depend upon the exact details of your case.
The U.S. Tax Court provides knowledgeable judges to handle complex and specialized tax law cases to make efficient and expedient decisions. Now that you have better insight into this judicial process, you may be better prepared for any upcoming legal issues with this court.