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.
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.
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 they disagree 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. Petitioners may use the form provided here.
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 issue) 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 Website.
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 $0.575 per mile, is updated at http://www.gsa.gov/mileage.
For all non-technical questions, contact the Office of the Clerk of the Court at (202) 521-0700.