Tax Court Lawyers in West Mifflin
Tax Courts serve the same purpose as any other court: they're there to resolve legal disagreements in a fair and orderly fashion. Tax courts are simply specialized to handle tax disputes.
At the national level, we have the United States Tax Court, that has locations all over the country. This means that there is an U.S. tax court in or near West Mifflin, Pennsylvania.
Tax courts in America handle the vast majority of legal issues that concern federal tax commitments of a person or other legal entity, such as a corporation. There are several procedural rules that are meant to funnel tax issues into tax courts, without strictly requiring them to be heard there. For instance, only tax courts can hear tax cases where the tax in question has not yet been paid. The courts of general jurisdiction - known as the U.S. District Court - can also hear tax cases, but they can only hear tax cases if the disputed tax bill has already been paid.
Tax Court Procedure in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania
Tax court claims in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania can arise from any tax dispute, 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.
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 Pennsylvania, or anywhere else, are, in some cases, allowed 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 often, when the IRS sends a West Mifflin, Pennsylvania 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.
Do I Need a West Mifflin, Pennsylvania Tax Attorney?
Although federal tax court allows, under some circumstances, non-lawyers to represent taxpayers, the practice of tax law is extremely complicated and specialized. Many attorneys who practice tax law do not practice in any other area.
If you find yourself in a situation where you think you'll have to go to tax court, you should consult with a qualified tax lawyer in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania as soon as possible. Non-lawyers are allowed to represent you in tax court, and most of them are perfectly competent. However, there are significant advantages to having a lawyer represent you, as opposed to an accountant or other non-attorney. Primarily, lawyers are regulated by the bar association of whatever state they're licensed to practice in, and if a lawyer handles your case incompetently, you will have significant legal recourse against them, through both the courts and the state bar