A brief is a formal document normally filed by each party after the trial in a regular case. A brief contains a table of contents, a statement of the issues, proposed findings of facts, points of law relied upon, argument and analysis. See Rule 151.
A decision document closes a case. A decision is signed by a Judge and entered in the Court’s record. The decision reflects the conclusions of the Court. A decision can be entered in a case after the parties have settled all issues or the Judge has issued an opinion or order deciding all issues in a case.
The parties can seek to obtain information and documents necessary to present their case. “Interrogatories” are written questions asked of the opposing party and a “request for documents” is a request to obtain documents and records. Before making a formal request for interrogatories or documents, the parties should talk with one another and make an informal request.
Electronic access (eAccess) allows petitioners and practitioners to electronically view documents in their Tax Court case(s). Petitioners and practitioners may register for eAccess through Petitioner Access and Practitioner Access. For registration information, please see the Court’s eAccess page for details.
Registered users may elect to receive electronic service (eService) of case documents in lieu of conventional paper service by the Court. For more information, petitioners (taxpayers) should consult the Petitioners' Guide to Electronic Case Access and Filing. Counsel admitted to practice before the Tax Court should consult the Practitioners' Guide to Electronic Case Access and Filing.
A final status report form is available on the Court’s Web site and is used to report any new developments in a case (such as settlement) or changes in contact information to the Court and the opposing party. Final status reports should be received by the Court no later than 3 p.m. Eastern time on the last business day (normally Friday) before the trial session begins (calendar call).
The Court’s authority to hear your case. For example, a taxpayer must file a petition with the Court within the time provided by the Internal Revenue Code after the notice of deficiency or notice of determination is issued for the Court to have jurisdiction. Also, in most circumstances, a taxpayer must have been sent a notice of deficiency or notice of determination for the Court to have jurisdiction to consider the case.
Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. LITCs serve taxpayers meeting certain income guidelines all across the country. A list of LITCs can be found on the Tax Court Web site.
One or both parties can file a written request for the Court to take some action. Such a request is known as a motion. For example, if the petitioner wants to continue the trial of a case to another trial date, the petitioner would file a written motion for continuance. Before filing a motion a party should talk to the other party to see if they object to the motion and the motion should indicate where there is any objection. A party may also make an oral motion at a trial session.
The letter sent by the IRS to a taxpayer informing them of the IRS’s decision in a collection review case, an innocent spouse case, or the review of a worker classification. In collection review cases, taxpayers generally have 30 days from the date the IRS mails the Notice of Determination to petition the Tax Court.
The document a taxpayer files (along with a copy of a Notice of Deficiency or Notice of Determination) explaining to the Court why he or she disagrees with the Internal Revenue Service. A case cannot be heard without a timely filed petition.
A written document submitted to the Court by each party providing a brief summary of their case. For a regular Tax Court case, the pretrial memorandum is submitted to the Court and the opposing party at least 14 days before the first day of a trial session. In a Small Tax Case, the pretrial memorandum is to be received by the Court at least 7 days before the first day of a trial session. Petitioners may use the form attached to their Standing Pretrial Order or Standing Pretrial Notice.
A case in which the taxpayer elects not to be heard under the Small Tax Case procedures. The differences between a regular tax case and small tax case are described in the Guidance for Petitioners section of the Tax Court Web site and in the informational packet available from the Court.
An “S” case is heard under less formal procedures and there is no right of appeal. Cases may not exceed certain monetary thresholds (generally $50,000 per year) in order to be heard as a small tax case. For more information, please refer to the Guidance for Petitioners section of the Tax Court Web site or the informational packet available from the Court.
A document (Tax Court Form 4) submitted with a petition providing the taxpayer’s name and Social Security (or other taxpayer ID) number; this document is not filed or made available to the public.
A command by the Court for a witness to produce documents or provide testimony at trial. A subpoena form and instructions are available on the Court’s Web site. A petitioner must pay fees and expenses to the witness. The $40 attendance fee is subject to change, and you should look to 26 U.S.C. section 1821 for amendments. The relevant regulations for travel expenses appear at 41 C.F.R. section 301-10 (also subject to amendment); and the mileage rate, currently $0.56 per mile, is updated at http://www.gsa.gov/mileage.
To contact the Webmaster for technical issues or problems with the website, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. No documents can be filed with the Court at this email address.
For all non-technical questions, contact the Office of the Clerk of the Court at (202) 521-0700.