Tax Court in Wetumpka, Alabama

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Tax Court is a legal forum designed particularly to resolve claims and disputes that arise under federal and (sometimes) state tax law.

At the national level, we have the United States Tax Court, that has locations all over the country. This means that there is a U.S. tax court in or near Wetumpka, Alabama.

U.S. Tax Courts deal with almost every legal issue that has to do with the federal tax commitments of an individual or corporation. The U.S. District Courts are the courts of "general jurisdiction" in the U.S., meaning that they can hear almost any type of civil or criminal case under their jurisdiction. This includes tax cases, but the law only allows them to hear such cases if the tax in question has already been paid. Tax courts can hear cases before the tax has been paid.

Tax Court Procedure in Wetumpka, Alabama

Claims dealing with tax law can come from any disagreement that has to do with one's duty to pay taxes in Wetumpka, Alabama. This usually happens when the state or federal tax authorities allege that someone has failed to pay their taxes, and therefore owes the government money. If the taxpayer disagrees, a tax court has to resolve the issue.

Federal tax courts are presided over by judges who are assigned by the President of the United States. These judges serve 15-year terms. Judges whose terms expire are consistently re-appointed by the sitting President, so most tax court judges effectively serve for life.

In the U.S., tax courts have some distinct features. Most interestingly, individuals who are not licensed attorneys in Alabama, or anywhere else, are, in some cases, allowed to represent clients before tax courts. Non-attorneys who practice before tax court are almost always accountants, and any non-lawyer who wants to practice before the U.S. tax court must pass a challenging written exam that tests their understanding of American tax law. Licensed attorneys, however, may practice before the tax court without taking this exam.

Most often, when the IRS sends a Wetumpka, Alabama resident a "notice of deficiency," which alleges that they owe back taxes, the taxpayer has 90 days to go to tax court, and file a claim in tax court to fight this allegation. If you don't file this claim within the allotted time, you can lose your right to dispute the tax bill in question, in any forum, permanently.

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Do I Need a Wetumpka, Alabama Tax Attorney?

Although federal tax court allows, under some circumstances, non-lawyers to represent taxpayers, the practice of tax law is extremely complicated and specialized. Many attorneys who practice tax law do not practice in any other area.

If you have to go to tax court for whatever reason, you should almost certainly speak with a reputable tax attorney in Wetumpka, Alabama. Even though some non-lawyers are technically permitted to represent you in tax court, there are distinct advantages to hiring a lawyer, even if a non-attorney can provide you with competent representation. The main advantage is the fact that all attorneys are tightly regulated by their state bar associations, and if they botch your case, you may have more legal recourse against an attorney than you would against a non-attorney.

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