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How Long Do U.S. Tax Court Trials Take?

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If You Are Considering Appealing Your Tax Bill to U.S. Tax Court, Contact Our Battle-Tested Tax Attorneys Right Away

It can often be worthwhile to appeal an IRS audit decision to the U.S. Tax Court, where fresh eyes outside the agency will look at the facts as presented by both sides and determine whether an unjust tax determination was made. However, you must act quickly to retain an experienced dual licensed Tax Litigation Lawyers and CPA like those at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, who can help you prepare and submit the petition within the required 90-day time frame. We will work to convince the IRS that both the law and the facts are on your side and thus settle the case while reducing or eliminating your tax debt, penalties and interest stemming from the audit. If you are still not satisfied with the deal offered by appeals, can take the matter to trial before a tax judge.

The IRS has a 98% settlement rate between the settlements made in appeals and the post appeal settlements made subsequently with Chief Counsels Office occasionally on the courthouse steps.  This fact plus the fact that taxpayers have the burden of proof before the tax court are the reason that most taxpayers that push a tax issue all the way to a tax trial in U.S. tax court ordinarily lose, especially where they represent themselves.

 Call our firm today at (661) 432-1480 to set up a consultation.

How Long Do U.S. Tax Court Trials Take?

The U.S. Tax Court is an independent forum where taxpayers can appeal IRS tax bills and other decisions resulting from audits or investigations. In order to take a tax controversy before the U.S. Tax Court, the taxpayer must file a tax court petition within a certain amount of time. While it is legal for the taxpayer to represent themselves in front of the Tax Court, this is never a smart idea. Any time you think you want to take your case to Tax Court, you should first reach out to an experienced Tax Appeals & Litigation Attorney and cast of supporting CPAs like those on the team at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing. We can advise you on your chances of success and, if we believe you have a good case, can help you timely file your petition and fight for you to receive a fair and just outcome where you are not left paying more taxes, penalties or interest than you should rightly owe.   We can protect you from almost everything except for the tax you should have rightly paid in the first place.

How Does Tax Court Work?

As noted above, if your appeal of a tax audit assessment or other additions by the IRS is denied by the agency itself, your next step is to file a petition with the U.S. Tax Court appealing the agency’s decision. The petition must be filed within 90 days of your receiving a letter called a notice of deficiency. If you do not file the petition within this time frame, the appeal is deemed waived. This is one of the reasons why it is so vital to contact a skilled Tax Litigation Attorney like those at the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing as quickly as possible after your receipt of the statutory notice of deficiency letter. The more time we have to assess your situation and work on the case, the more comprehensive work can be put into writing the best possible tax court petition to convince the appeals department, chief counsel’s office or the tax court itself, that you have been unjustly taxed and or penalized. The IRS, in turn, will have either 60 days from the date of service of your petition to file an answer to the petition, or 45 days from the date of service to file a related motion, such as a motion to dismiss.

More than 98% of cases filed in the tax court end in a settlement of some sort. Our veteran Tax Litigation Attorneys will leave no stone unturned during the negotiation process with the IRS’s appeals officers and lawyers to work to get you the best possible settlement often resulting in a major reduction in or total elimination of your unpaid tax bill, penalties and interest. Note that if your matter or matters regard a disputed amount of $50,000 or less, you can choose to file your petition instead through the small tax case division, which offers a quicker, streamlined process but also fewer legal protections and rights. As always, consult with your Tax Litigation Attorney before making any such decision about where or how to file.

How Does a Tax Trial Work?

If you choose to go forward with a tax trial, the date of the trial will not be set for six months, at least, and usually longer. This will partially depend on where you live, as the Tax Court meets more often in more populous states than in smaller, more rural ones. Once the trial begins, it will occur before a single judge & without a jury. For small tax cases, the entire matter is only likely to take an hour or two due to the streamlined process. For larger matters, the case could take a day, a few days, or even weeks depending on how much evidence there is to introduce and how many witnesses each side plans to have take the stand.

At the Tax Law Offices of David W. Klasing, our tax litigation lawyers have years of experience working the appeals process prior to Tax Court and thus understand the most persuasive arguments to be made to convince the tax judge that your tax liability should be decreased or eliminated. We will work to introduce all the necessary evidence and elicit testimony from any witnesses to show the judge that the IRS clearly got this one wrong. If the Tax Court rules against you, we will have the option of filing an appeal with the U.S. Circuit Court covering the place where you lived at the time you filed your original petition. However, these appeals can be timely, costly, and are rarely successful. This also does not apply to small tax court rulings, which cannot be appealed. Only in special situations where we believe your case has a truly unique issue of law or that the Tax Court’s decision was especially egregious are we likely to recommend you pursue an appeal beyond the Tax Court stage, which is all the more reason to make sure to hire an attorney who can get it right for you the first time.  

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.

See our Tax Litigation Q and A Library

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Questions and Answers About Tax Litigation