Tax Court in Santa Ana, California

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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.

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 Santa Ana, 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 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 Santa Ana, California

Tax law claims can arise out of any dispute having to do with one's legal requirement to pay their taxes in Santa Ana, 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.

In the U.S., tax court judges are assigned by the President of the United States. Unlike judges on most other federal courts, who usually serve for life (or until they retire), tax court judges serve terms of 15 years. But, there is no limit to the number of terms that they are permitted to serve. If a tax court judge has been doing his or her job competently, the President will usually re-appoint them whenever their term expires, effectively giving them life tenure.

U.S. Tax Courts have one feature that's almost completely distinct in the U.S.: people who are not licensed attorneys in California, or anywhere else, are allowed to represent clients in Tax Court. This doesn't mean, however, that anyone can walk in off the street and start practicing tax law. Before they can practice before a tax court, non-attorneys have to take and pass a written exam that tests their knowledge of U.S. tax law. People who are already licensed to practice law, on the other hand, can practice before a tax court without taking this test.

Most often, a resident of Santa Ana, 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 Santa Ana, California Tax Attorney?

Federal law allows some non-lawyers to represent parties in tax court. However, tax law is a fairly complicated 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.

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

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Life in Santa Ana


Santa Ana is the county seat of the infamous Orange County, California. Santa Ana is the 4th most densely populated area in the United States with over 325,000 residents. Santa Ana is known nationally for it's beautiful coastline and it lends its name to the Santa Ana Freeway that bisects the city as well as the winds that historically fuel wildfires in Southern California, the Santa Ana Winds. One of the reasons people flock to Santa Ana is for work with Orange County at the Santa Ana Civic Center. Santa Ana has a high number of skilled lawyers because it's the location of the Orange County Supreme Court and the Ronald Reagan Federal Building and Courthouse.

Santa Ana's close proximity to Los Angeles attracts many corporate headquarters. Behr Paint, Corinthian Colleges, First American Corporation, and The Orange County Register all have their corporate headquarters in Santa Ana. Ingram Micro is the world's largest information technology distributor and outdoes all of the others as the top employer in Santa Ana besides Orange County. For those folks commuting out of the city by way of public transit, Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner runs through Los Angeles to San Diego. Santa Ana also has service from the Metrolink Orange County Line to Oceanside and the Inland Empire Line running to San Juan Capistrano and San Bernardino.

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