Tax Court Lawyers in South Houston

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 take tax disputes.

Normally, legal issues concerning one's requirement to pay their federal income taxes will be resolved in tax court. Because of this, the U.S. tax courts have at least one courthouse in every single state and territory in the U.S., and there are many locations in each of the larger states. This means that there is almost certainly a tax court in or near South Houston, Texas

The U.S. Tax Court is where disagreements arising under federal tax law are resolved, if the tax debt in question has not already been paid. The U.S. District Court, which is the federal court of general jurisdiction, can only hear tax cases after the tax has been paid. This rule is meant to guarantee that as many tax issues as possible are really decided in tax court, rather than the overworked District Courts.

Tax Court Procedure in South Houston, Texas

Any claim dealing with federal tax law in South Houston, Texas can end up in tax court. Most commonly, a dispute ends up in tax court when the government claims that someone has not paid all of the taxes that they are legally obligated to pay. If the taxpayer disputes the factual basis of the allegation, or believes the IRS has misinterpreted the law, U.S. Tax Courts have to determine those contentions.

In the U.S., tax court judges are assigned by the President of the United States. Unlike judges on most other federal courts, who normally 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 normally 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 Texas, or anywhere else, are authorized 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 commonly, when the IRS sends a South Houston, Texas 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 South Houston, Texas Tax Attorney?

Although the law lets certain non-lawyers represent parties before tax court, tax law is very complicated and often challenging to understand - to the point that almost all attorneys who practice tax law practice it exclusively, simply because maintaining competence leaves little time to learn any other area.

So, if you plan on going to tax court, it should go without saying that you should hire a South Houston, Texas 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.