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Federal Tax Research Resources: Tax Cases

COURT ACTIONS

SOURCES OF TAX OPINIONS

Court Structure

Trial Courts in Tax Cases - three levels of court in which a tax case may originate

 U.S. Tax Court

  • Cases are heard and determined by an individual tax judge, either after live testimony or upon stipulated facts;
  • Jury trial is not available.
  • A tax payer may bring a tax dispute to the tax court without first paying the amount at issue.
  • Types of cases/Decisions issued
    • Regular cases deal with questions of law
    • Memorandum cases focus on factual disputes

U.S District Courts

  • Have jurisdiction over general matters including tax issues.
  • Jury trial is available.
  • The taxpayer must pay the full amount in dispute and bring a district court case as an action for refund.

U.S. Court of Federal Claims

  • Also has jurisdiction over tax issues.
  • Jury trial is not available.
  • The taxpayer must pay the full amount in dispute and bring an action for refund.
INSTITUTION REPORTED BINDING UPON
Supreme Court

U.S. Reports

Supreme Court Reports/U.S. Tax Cases

Parties and as precedent for all courts
Courts of Appeal Federal Reporter/U.S. Tax Cases Parties and as precedent for all courts of that circuit including cases before Tax Court
District Court/Court of Claims

Federal Supplement/U.S. Tax Cases

Federal Claims Reporter

Parties and as precedent for that district (including Tax Court)
Tax Court Reports of the U.S. Tax Court Parties and as precedent in Tax Court (unless other Fed. Court decided)
  • Tax Court Reports are cases of first impression.
  • Tax Court Memo for cases where the issue is how to apply settled law.

 

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