Tax litigation is not a position anyone wants to be in, but sometimes it is necessary to protect your interests. The Internal Revenue Service is known for being thorough and attentive to details, but sometimes they get things wrong. That’s when you have to pursue your rights.
However, even if it is the right thing to do, taking on the IRS is an unpleasant prospect. It can help you to understand what the future may look like for any appeal of a tax decision.
Step 1: Tax court
As tax law is one of the more complex areas of the law, issues of tax delinquency or “controversy” end up first in a specialized court. Tax court at the state level is experienced with the intricate tax code. Most tax issues can find their resolution here, but when they can’t, you have room for an appeal.
Step 2: Federal District court
Appealing a tax court decision will lead you to a federal district court. In Texas, you’ll be in the Southern District. The judges here will review the facts of your case, just like any other federal appeal. However, as it is a tax matter, the is a great chance that the judges may not have the same intricate, detailed knowledge as each other. Results here can be varied.
Step 3: Federal Claims court
The final place for an appeal of your claim is at the federal claims court level. This court is not only for tax issues but any place that has a significant dispute with the federal government. Here is your final venue to fight for your case.
Skilled tax litigation attorneys can make an important impact at every level, but more than that, they can explain your choices at each step. It might be that you would find a better outcome if you moved to a completely different tactic, such as bankruptcy. But that will be a discussion for you and your attorney.