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Tax Court

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Tax court is a federal court wherein taxpayers can challenge IRS claims about any shortfall in their tax payment or the amount of taxes they owe. When a taxpayer receives a notice of determination or a notice of deficiency from the IRS and wishes to be heard by the tax court, he must file a petition with the tax court and do so in a timely manner, tax laws do not allow for time extensions. While jurisdiction of the tax court is limited, its authority allows the tax court to make some types of declaratory judgments, order abatement of interest, adjust partnership terms, award administrative and litigation costs, review some collection actions, and other matters relevant to tax disputes. The tax court is comprised of 19 judges appointed by the President, and all tax court judges have expertise in tax law. Rather than expecting all disputants to come to Washington, D.C. where the tax court building is located, tax court judges travel around the U.S. to preside at trials in various cities. If the taxpayer so chooses, tax court cases involving sums of $50,000 or less may be conducted under the small tax case procedure. Tax court trials in small tax cases are generally decided faster, but also may not be appealed. Most tax court cases are settled without a trial. If the tax court does conduct a trial, the presiding tax court judge will issue a report setting forth findings of fact and an opinion rendering a final decision.

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