Tax Court in Carson, California

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

Federal tax issues are handled by the United States Tax Court, which has branches all over the U.S. So, the U.S. Tax Court almost certainly has a courthouse in or around Carson, California.

The U.S. Tax Court is where disputes arising under federal tax law are resolved, if the tax debt in question has not already been paid. The U.S. District Court, which is the federal court of general jurisdiction, can only hear tax cases after the tax has been paid. This rule is meant to ensure that as many tax issues as possible are directly decided in tax court, rather than the overworked District Courts.

Tax Court Procedure in Carson, California

Tax court claims in Carson, California can arise from any tax conflict, such as when a taxpayer believes that the conclusions of a tax audit were in error, or that they do not owe as much money as the IRS claims that they do.

Tax courts in the United States are presided over by judges who are appointed by the President. Unlike most other federal judges, who serve for life, judges on the U.S. Tax Court serve 15 year terms. However, they can serve an unlimited number of these terms, and if they do their jobs competently, they are almost always re-appointed when their terms are up, meaning that the vast majority of them effectively serve for life.

In the U.S., tax courts have some unique features. Most interestingly, individuals who are not licensed attorneys in California, or anywhere else, are, in some cases, permitted 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 difficult written exam that tests their understanding of American tax law. Licensed attorneys, however, may practice before the tax court without taking this exam.

Most frequently, when the IRS sends a Carson, California 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 Carson, California Tax Attorney?

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

So, if you plan on going to tax court, it should go without saying that you should hire a Carson, California tax attorney. While a non-lawyer admitted to practice before tax court may well give you skilled representation, you will have much stronger recourse against a licensed attorney if they negligently botch your case.

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