Tax Court Lawyers in Sand Springs
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 handle 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 Sand Springs, 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 allowing 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 Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Tax law claims can arise out of any dispute having to do with one's legal obligation to pay their taxes in Sand Springs, 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.
In the U.S., tax court judges are appointed 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 allowed 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.
Federal tax court is somewhat unique in that individuals who are not licensed attorneys in Oklahoma (or anywhere else) may represent taxpayers before the tax court, as long as they can pass an exam indicating that they have a good knowledge of tax law. Licensed lawyers do not need to take this exam to practice before tax court.
Usually, a Sand Springs, 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 Sand Springs, Oklahoma 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 Sand Springs, Oklahoma 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.