Petitioning the U.S. Tax Court

October 27, 2013 | Tax Laws

Petitioning the U.S. Tax Court

A taxpayer may petition the United States Tax Court ( if they have received a Notice of Deficiency, a Notice of Determination Concerning Collection Action, or a Notice of Determination of Worker Classification from the IRS. Once the IRS issues a Notice of Deficiency, for instance due to an unfiled tax return, the taxpayer only has 90 days to petition the Tax Court. You may also petition the Tax Court if you have filed a claim for innocent spouse relief and six months have passed without receiving a determination letter from the IRS. The Tax Court holds hearings in various major cities on a monthly basis throughout the year (except summer).

Subject to dollar limits, a taxpayer can choose to have their case conducted as either a small tax case or a regular tax case. You must check the appropriate box on Form 2. If you neglect to check a box, your case will be handled as a regular tax case. Small tax cases are handled with less formal procedures than regular tax cases. It is important to note, however, that unlike a regular tax case, the Tax Court’s decision in a small tax case cannot be appealed by the IRS or by the taxpayer.

The time period for the dollar limits for a small tax care vary depending on the type of IRS action you are seeking the United States Tax Court to review, but the magic dollar amount for each is $50,000. For review of a Notice of Deficiency, the amount of the Deficiency cannot exceed $50,000 for any tax year. For review of a Notice of Determination Concerning Collection Action, the total amount of the unpaid tax cannot exceed $50,000 for all tax years combined. For review of a Notice of Determination of Worker Classification, the amount in dispute cannot exceed $50,000 for any calendar quarter. For review of a Notice of Determination concerning innocent spouse relief, the relief sought cannot exceed $50,000 for all years combined.

To ensure that your case will be properly processed without delay, you should enclose a copy of the Notice of Deficiency you received from the IRS, a completed petition with all the necessary forms, located on the Tax Court’s web site (, a completed request for place of trial, as well as the $60 filing fee.

By: Timothy S. Hart

Attorney Timothy Hart

Timothy S Hart, the founding partner of the tax law firm of Timothy S. Hart Law Group, P.C. is both a New York Tax Lawyer & Certified Public Accountant. His area of expertise includes innovative solutions to solve your Internal Revenue Service and New York State tax problems, including tax settlements through the Federal and New York State offer in compromise programs, filing unfiled tax returns, voluntary disclosures, tax audits, and criminal investigations. [ Attorney Bio ]