Tax Court in Winfield, 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 Winfield, 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 authorizes 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 Winfield, Alabama

Claims dealing with tax law can come from any dispute that has to do with one's duty to pay taxes in Winfield, Alabama. This normally 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, authorized 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 commonly, when the IRS sends a Winfield, 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 Winfield, Alabama Tax Attorney?

Federal law authorizes some non-lawyers to represent people before U.S. Tax Courts. Nonetheless, the tax laws are very convoluted. In fact, most tax attorneys don't practice any other area of law.

So, if you need to go to tax court, for whatever reason, you should obtain the counsel of a good tax attorney in Winfield, Alabama. While a non-lawyer who's licensed to practice before the tax courts may well give you perfectly competent representation, there are still advantages to hiring a lawyer. The main advantage is that lawyers are far more regulated in their profession than most non-lawyers. So, if a tax attorney severely damages your case due to negligence or incompetence, you will have considerable legal recourse against them.

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