Before the IRS can assess additional income, estate or gift tax, the IRS must issue a notice of deficiency. This gives the taxpayer an opportunity to file a petition in the United States Tax Court contesting the additional tax before it can be billed. The Tax Court also has jurisdiction to review IRS collection determinations through the collection due process (CDP) procedures. This makes Tax Court litigation one of the most important aspects of a contested tax case. While it is always best to resolve a case at the earliest stage, maintaining the opportunity for Tax Court review is a critical component in resolving the more difficult cases.
There is a difference between filing a Tax Court case and litigating one. Many file, few litigate. Steve has been trying Tax Court cases his entire career. While working with IRS Counsel, Steve tried over 35 cases and was attorney of record in over 4,000 cases. Since leaving the IRS in 1987, Steve has tried approximately 100 cases, including many procedural and tax shelter cases that others were only willing to settle. Steve and Gary tried two cases together, winning both and recovering their attorneys’ fees in one. Lydia has also handled multiple Tax Court trials in the past few years. The depth of our actual Tax Court trial experience is matched by few (if any) law firms in the country. Trials are expensive endeavors, often with unsatisfying results. The ability and reputation for actually trying cases, however, is an important aspect of obtaining the best result for the client.