United States Tax Court Amends Rules for Access to Tax Documents

Chief Judge of the United States Tax Court John Colvin announced the other day that the Tax Court has adopted amendments to the Tax Court’s Rules of Practice and Procedure. Most of these changes are effective as of March 1, 2008. However, the rules relating to remote access to electronic files will be effective at some point in the future on a date to be announced by the Tax Court. For most taxpayers the Tax Court is the only place for a tax controversy to be heard by independent judge, and not the Internal Revenue Service. It is where the bulk of federal tax litigation occurs.

In the past when a Tax Court Petition was filed the Tax Court’s rules required that the taxpayer list his or her social security number along with his address. Due to privacy concerns new U.S. Tax Court Rule 20(b) provides for the submission of a separate statement with the taxpayer’s social security number. That statement will not, however, be part of the Court’s file, and hence not available to the general public. New Tax Court Rule 27 directs all parties including the IRS to redact taxpayer identification numbers, dates of birth, names of minor children and financial account numbers in filings with the Tax Court.

In addition U.S. Tax Court Rule 27(b) provides for internet access to case documents to the parties and their counsel.

Although the U.S. Tax Court is located in Washington, D.C. it holds hearings around the United States including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Fresno, California.

If you have a tax dispute with the IRS, and need tax litigation or tax controversy help please contact the Southern California tax lawyers at Brager Tax Law Group, A P.C. We handle cases not only in the United States Tax Court, but also the federal district courts, and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

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