Tax Court in Sacramento, California
Tax Court is a legal forum designed particularly to resolve claims and disputes that arise under federal and (sometimes) state tax law.
Federal tax issues are overseen 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 Sacramento, California.
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 Sacramento, California
Tax law claims can arise out of any disagreement having to do with one's legal requirement to pay their taxes in Sacramento, California. Most often, they occur when the IRS alleges that a taxpayer has not paid all of the taxes that they owe, and the taxpayer disagrees. The court has to resolve this dispute.
U.S. Tax Court judges are assigned by the President. Their terms of office are legally set at 15 years. Nonetheless, the vast majority of tax court judges are simply assigned again when their terms run out, and there is no limit on the number of 15-year terms they can serve. As a practical matter, thus, Tax Court judges effectively serve life terms.
In the U.S., tax courts have some distinct features. Most interestingly, individuals who are not licensed attorneys in California, 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, a resident of Sacramento, California will find themselves in tax court because the relevant tax authority (usually the IRS), suspects that they have not paid all of the taxes that they are required to pay. To initiate a legal action against the taxpayer, the IRS will send them a letter laying out its allegations. Once this is received, the taxpayer has a moderate period of time (about 90 days) to go to the nearest U.S. tax court and respond. If you find yourself in this position, and want to dispute the allegations against you, you MUST file a response in a tax court in a timely manner. If you don't, you can easily lose your right to ever dispute those allegations again.
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Do I Need a Sacramento, California Tax Attorney?
Federal law authorizes some non-lawyers to represent parties in tax court. However, tax law is a fairly complex and specialized legal field. Most lawyers who practice tax law do not practice any other area of law, giving you an idea of how specialized it is.
If you have to go to tax court for whatever reason, you should almost certainly speak with a seasoned tax attorney in Sacramento, California. 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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Life in SacramentoSacramento is the capitol of the State of California, seat of Sacramento County, and still only ranks as the 6th largest city in the state. Cited as one of the most ethnically and racially integrated communities in the United States by Time Magazine, Sacramento plays host to a wide variety of public, private, and religious K-8 schools. California State University Sacramento, University of California Davis, and The Art Institute are just a few of the options residents have for higher education. In addition there are a number of other private, public, vocational, and community colleges in the area. The top employer in Sacramento remains the State of California. The California State Capitol Building was erected in 1874 and is reminiscent of the U.S. Capitol Building. "The Big Four" who included Mark Hopkins (of the Hotels), Charles Crocker (local Mansion/Art Museum and Rail tycoon), Leland Stanford (tycoon, industrialist, the university), and finally Collis P. Huntington (another Transcontinental Railroad tycoon) financed the construction of the Capitol Building out of pocket.
Sacramento has a number of outstanding museums and tourist amenities like the Crocker Art Museum, a local NBA team, a historic Old Town District, and the western terminus of the Pony Express which is Sutter's Fort. the Fort was erected in 1839 and is most famous for its association with the Donner Party and Sutter's Mill where gold was first found. Aside from the historical, Sacramento is host of the major courts in the area including the California State Supreme Court, Sacramento County and City Courts, and other Federal run courts. These buildings are largely located in Downtown Sacramento but serve the entire Central Valley.