Frequently Asked Questions About DAWSON: Pre-launch



What is DAWSON?

The U.S. Tax Court’s new case management system, DAWSON (Docket Access Within a Secure Online Network), is an electronic filing and case management system designed to make it easier for parties and the Court to start a Tax Court case, file and process documents, and manage cases.


How do I access DAWSON?

In December, when the system “goes live”, you will be able to access DAWSON from the Court’s website.


Will I need special software to access DAWSON?

No. DAWSON is web-based, so all you need is access to the internet and an internet browser.


Is DAWSON compatible with all internet browsers?

DAWSON is compatible with most up-to-date browsers such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or Safari. It is not compatible with outdated browsers such as Internet Explorer.


Who can register for a DAWSON account?

  • Only parties with active cases and counsel may register for a DAWSON account.
  • The general public will be able to access the Court’s orders and opinions for free through the Court’s website without needing a DAWSON account.


If I already have an eAccess account, will I need a new DAWSON account?

  • Yes. Your eAccess credentials will not work in the new system.
  • In early December, DAWSON credentials will be emailed to eAccess system users. To ensure that this email is sent to your current email address, make sure your contact information is accurate before November 20, 2020.


If I do not currently have an eAccess account, will I need a DAWSON account?

  • If you are a party, you will need a DAWSON account for free electronic access to your Court records.
    • If you do not have a DAWSON account, you will receive case documents from the Court by U.S. mail instead of being able to access them electronically.
  • If you are admitted to practice before the Court, you are generally required to file documents and receive service electronically. See Rule 26(b), Tax Court Rules of Practice and Procedure. Electronic filing and the electronic service of Court filings will take place through a DAWSON account.


If I currently have a PACER account, will I need a DAWSON account?

Yes. DAWSON is not connected to PACER.


How do I get a DAWSON account?

  • In early December, practitioners and parties registered in the current eAccess system will receive an email with a link to establish new credentials in DAWSON.
  • Practitioners and parties who do not have an eAccess account before November 20, 2020, will be able to register in DAWSON after it becomes active in December.
    • When electronically filing a new petition, unrepresented petitioners will register for an account in DAWSON.
    • Current petitioners who do not have an eAccess account can establish new credentials by emailing Admissions@ustaxcourt.gov.
    • The Court will provide newly admitted practitioners with DAWSON credentials when they are assigned a Tax Court Bar number.
    • Current practitioners whose eAccess credentials are inaccessible or who do not timely activate their DAWSON credentials can establish new credentials by emailing Admissions@ustaxcourt.gov.


What happened November 20, 2020?

  • Beginning at 5:00 PM Eastern Time on November 20, 2020, the eAccess system became “read only”. See this Press Release.
  • Records in the eAccess system—including opinions and orders—remain visible to parties and the public but no new electronic case filings will be permitted.


What if I need to file something after November 20, 2020 and before DAWSON is active?

  • If you must file something with the Court after 5:00 PM Eastern Time on November 20, 2020 and before DAWSON “goes live” in December, you can do so by mailing your document to the United States Tax Court, 400 2nd Street NW, Washington DC 20217. See this Press Release.
  • Copies of paper-filed documents will be provided to judges as they are received, but documents will not be placed on the electronic record until DAWSON goes live. Any resulting orders will likely be delayed until DAWSON goes live.
    • For example, if a motion for summary judgment is filed in paper, it is likely that an order requiring a response to that motion will not be issued until DAWSON goes live.
  • Judges have the discretion to grant motions for leave to file documents out of time.
    • For specific situations with specific judges, the Court recommends that parties reach out to the judge for guidance. A directory can be found here.


Will the Court still issue opinions and orders during the time electronic filing is inaccessible?

The Court does not currently anticipate issuing any orders or opinions from 5:00 PM Eastern Time on November 20, 2020, until DAWSON goes live. If circumstances necessitate issuing an opinion or order, the Court will do so.


How will I know when DAWSON is active?

Check the Court’s website for up-to-date information. The Court will announce the launch date by Press Release.


Will the current eAccess system continue to be "read only" after DAWSON is active?

No. The current eAccess system will remain available only until DAWSON’s launch. After that time, the only case management system available will be DAWSON


Is there any guidance or training on how to use DAWSON?

The Court’s website has a demonstration video and other helpful information.


Revised November 24, 2020

Technical Questions?

To contact the Webmaster for technical issues or problems with the website, send an email to webmaster@ustaxcourt.gov. No documents can be filed with the Court at this email address.

Other Questions?

For all non-technical questions, contact the Office of the Clerk of the Court at (202) 521-0700.


United States Tax Court

400 Second Street, NW, Washington, DC 20217 | (202) 521-0700

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