Tax Court Lawyers in Nichols Hills

Tax Courts serve the same purpose as any other court: they're there to resolve legal disputes in a fair and orderly fashion. Tax courts are simply specialized to take tax disputes.

At the federal level, there is the United States Tax Court, which has courthouses all over the country, including one in or near Nichols Hills, Oklahoma.

The United States Tax Court handles most legal disputes that have to deal with federal, as opposed to state, taxes. These are not courts of "general jurisdiction" (courts that hear the vast majority of civil and criminal cases). Tax courts are able to hear cases where the tax bill in dispute has not yet been paid (effectively permitting a court to rule on the validity of a tax bill before the taxpayer pays it). The courts of general jurisdiction in the U.S. (called the U.S. District Courts) can only hear tax cases if the tax bill has already been paid.

Tax Court Procedure in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma

Tax law claims can arise out of any disagreement having to do with one's legal obligation to pay their taxes in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma. 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.

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

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

Normally, a Nichols Hills, Oklahoma resident will end up in tax court because the IRS has determined that they have not paid all of the taxes that they owe, and has sent them a notice indicating as much. When this happens, the taxpayer has 90 days to file a claim in Tax Court contesting the IRS's allegations. If you believe that the allegations against you are untrue, and wish to fight them, it's essential that you file a claim in tax court within the allotted time period. Otherwise, you could lose your right to challenge that tax bill permanently.

Do I Need a Nichols Hills, Oklahoma 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.

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