Tax Court Petitions and Representation in Tax Court
We prepare and file Tax Court Petitions for Clients all over the US and living abroad. We have settled over 99% of our Tax Court cases with the IRS without the need for a trial. We try to file all of our Tax Court cases out of our office in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Tax Court is made up of Judges who are based in Washington, D.C., but travel to hear cases at the various Tax Court locations across the country. If your case would go to trial, why not have it be heard by a Judge while they are enjoying their time on a beautiful tropical island in Hawaii?
We, as a general rule, try to charge flat fees for all of all Tax Court cases. Records can really help your case, but we are usually able to negotiate favorable settlements even when records have been lost or destroyed. What we are not able to do though is extend the deadline for filing a Tax Court petition. If you have received a "Notice of Deficiency" from the IRS, call us right away. If the 90 day deadline has passed, we can still help you, but the process is much more time consuming and you may lose your right to have your case heard by a Judge.
How the Process Works
The first step is to review your notice of deficiency and identify all the defenses potentially available to contest the additional taxes, interest and penalties the IRS is trying to make you pay. The next step is to prepare and file a petition with Tax Court within the strict 90 day period after the notice of deficiency was issued to preserve your rights in Tax Court.
We then provide you with a list of all of the items we can use to negotiate the best settlement for you with the independent IRS Appeals Officer who will be assigned to try to settle your case. If your records have been lost or destroyed, we can help you legally re-create the evidence you need or help you find third party records to help you substantiate expenses and non-income items. We have found that in the vast majority of cases, we are able to negotiate settlements far better than the results our Clients would likely end up with by going to trial.
We are always prepared to go to trial if needed, but unless the issues involve legal questions rather than factual ones like documenting expenses or income issues, the IRS generally prefers to settle rather than spend the time and expenses a trial requires, especially one against a taxpayer represented by an experienced tax attorney. We also have experience appealing in the few cases which we could not settle and were not able to prevail at Trial.
Fees and Costs
The Tax Court charges a flat $60 filing fee for Tax Court Petitions. Since our process is streamlined and extremely efficient, we able to charge flat fees on nearly all of our cases. Since most cases settle, you are never charged for trial work or even trial preparation unless you choose to reject the settlement we are able to negotiate for you.
What if I do owe some extra taxes but I can't afford to pay them?
Eric is also very experienced helping our Clients negotiate agreements with the IRS and state tax agencies for taxes they agree they owe but can't afford to pay. There are many options potentially available depending on your situation including offers in compromises (settlements), uncollectable status and hardship deferrals (no payments currently required), monthly installment agreements, and even bankruptcy. See our "collection defense" page for more information.