Civil Tax Litigation

A tax controversy generally starts with an IRS audit. If you are unable to resolve the matter with the IRS favorably through the audit and appeals levels, then you can seek a resolution in court.

After you decide what issues to dispute with the IRS, you need to decide where to dispute them. Most tax cases are filed in the U.S. Tax Court, since you are not required to pay the tax deficiency prior to filing a suit. You can choose a forum only when offered a choice, as some actions are heard only in certain courts. For example, the U.S. District Court is the only court to hear summons enforcement actions and enforcement to discharge federal tax liens. Below are the tax cases which can be heard in all forums:

  • Income, estate, and gift taxes.
  • Public charity excess lobbying taxes.
  • Private foundation taxes.
  • Qualified plan taxes.
  • And excise taxes on RICs and REITs

When you have the choice to pick a forum, here are some relevant factors to consider:

  • Prepayments vs. Refunds. You should weigh the relevant cost-of-money factors along with other cash needs and market interest rates compared to the underpayment and overpayment rates.
  • The Merits of the Case.  Each court follows different precedent, so you want to pick the forum most favorable to your tax issue.
  • Timing.  Each court has various time limits, which may bar options.
  • Judge vs. Jury. Only U.S. District Court permits a jury, so you should decide if your issue is better resolved before a judge with expertise in tax law or before a jury of your peers.
  • All the Tax Issues in Dispute.  Each dispute must be weighted together. Except under special circumstances, once you file a suit in one court for a particular year, you are then precluded from filing suits  in other courts concerning the same year.

To make informed decisions regarding these issues, you should consult with a tax attorney at Law Offices of Christy Lee, P.C.  We will assess your tax situation and discuss with you potential outcomes of a trial before each court.  We will work with you to adopt a proactive approach to achieving a beneficial ruling in court, while protecting your rights as a taxpayer.

At Law Offices of Christy Lee, P.C., our team of tax professionals manages the complicated process involved in tax litigation with the confidence that comes from training and years of experience in tax law. We will fight to ensure that your rights as a taxpayer are protected as we work toward a successful resolution of your litigated tax case.