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Can a U.S. Tax Court Decision Be Appealed?

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    Many times, taxpayers who go through the audit process or some other investigation by the IRS are frustrated with the outcome and the tax bill including additional penalties and interest with which they are left. Often, taxpayers are of the opinion that the IRS got the facts, the law, or both wrong when concluding their audit and choose to file an appeal of their audit assessment. Taxpayers can do so first by appealing to the IRS internally, and if this is not successful, by filing an appeal before the U.S. Tax Court.

    Because taxpayers are often unsuccessful in front of the Tax Court, especially those who decide to try to represent themselves, it is common for tax professionals to receive questions about whether a decision by the Tax Court can be appealed to a higher court. The answer to this question is yes, and our skilled Tax Litigation Attorneys and supporting staff of CPAs at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing can help you assess whether such an appeal has any chance of success in our view and, if we believe it may, we can help you file the matter in the proper forum and fight for a just decision in your favor.

    How Do You Appeal a U.S. Tax Court Decision?

    If you did not already have a lawyer assisting you with your original petition before the Tax Court, you should work right away after you receive notice of the Tax Court’s decision to retain a skilled Tax Litigation Lawyer with appeals court experience. Our lawyers will take a look at the specifics of your case and, based on our knowledge and experience, and advise you on whether you have any real chance of success in appealing the matter. One important thing to note is that you cannot appeal decisions that were heard before the small tax case division, or “S” division. This is an expedited version of Tax Court that taxpayers can elect to use if their matter involves $50,000 or less. This is why it is vital to consult with an experienced Tax Litigation Attorney before you file a petition with the S division and automatically concede many of your rights, including the right to an appeal.

    If you decide to appeal a Tax Court decision, the appeal is to be filed in the U.S. Circuit Court covering the state you resided in at the time you filed your Tax Court petition. For example, because California is covered by the 9th circuit, California citizens would file a Tax Court appeal there. You have 90 days from the date that the Tax Court enters its decision to file a notice of appeal with the appeals court, or the appeal is deemed waived. This is another reason you must reach out to a Skilled Tax Appeals Attorney as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, you will have to pay either the taxes assessed or a deposit a surety bond while this appeal is pending, and it is usually cheaper to pay the taxes. If the Circuit Court rules in your favor, you can be reimbursed for however much you paid the agency more than what you are actually deemed to ultimately owe.

    To be successful in appeal a tax court petition the follow is required.

    1. To be appealable under section 7482(a)(2), the order must include a statement or certification that
      1. A controlling question of law is present,
      2. Substantial grounds for difference of opinion are present, and
      3. An immediate appeal from the order may materially advance the ultimate termination of the litigation.
    2. Failure to meet any one of the requirements in paragraph (1) is grounds for denial of certification. See Gen. Signal Corp. v. Commissioner, 104 T.C. 248 (1995), aff’d, 142 F.3d 546 (2d Cir. 1998); Kovens v. Commissioner, supra.

    The appeal must contain:

    • A statement of facts
    • A statement of the controlling question of law
    • A statement of the reasons why a substantial basis exists for a difference of opinion on the question
    • A statement of the reasons why an immediate appeal may materially advance the termination of the litigation

    If You Are Interested in Appealing an Adverse Decision by the Tax Court, Reach Out to Our Skilled Tax Attorneys Right Away

    Even though the Tax Court is commonly thought of as the forum of last resort for appealing tax bills and other IRS issues, there is a way to appeal a Tax Court ruling. However, the chances of success of these appeals with the Circuit Courts are often quite low, as the IRS has a 98% settlement rate and ordinarily settles losing cases long before going to Tax Court in the first place.  You should consult with an experienced dual licensed Tax Attorney and CPA like those at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing before making any decisions about whether or not to go through with this process. Because you only have 90 days to send notice, you will need to act fast to get in touch with us. If we believe that an appeal could be successful, we will guide you through the process and work to bring the matter to a just conclusion where you are not forced to pay the government more than what you owe. To schedule a consultation, call us today at (661) 432-1480.

    We Are Here for You

    Regardless of your business or estate needs, the professionals at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing are here for you. We are open for business and our team will help ensure that your business is too. Contact the Law Offices of David W. Klasing today to discuss your business with one of our professionals.

    In addition to our main office in Irvine,  the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing has unstaffed (conference room only) satellite offices in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Panorama City, Oxnard, San Diego, Bakersfield, San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Carlsbad and Sacramento. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our staff are working from home, but have full virtual meeting capability.

    Our office technology allows clients to meet virtually via GoToMeeting. With end-to-end encryption, strong passwords and top-rated reliability, no one is messing with your meeting. To schedule a reduced rate initial consultation via GoToMeeting follow this link.   Call our office and request a GoToMeeting if you are an existing client.


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