Orlando Tax Law is not a resolution company. We are a boutique law firm that specializes in tax controversy and litigation matters. As such, we can often protect clients and sometimes reach better settlements where resolution companies (and even some other law firms) cannot. This is an extremely important consideration when choosing a representative for your tax situation.
In many situations, disagreements with the IRS can be resolved quickly and easily (once you get ahold of them but that is a different story). Both the IRS and taxpayers routinely come to an agreement regarding back taxes by using things like installment agreements (payment plans) and negotiated settlements (like an offer in compromise). Unfortunately, agreements like these are not always possible.
If you are in a disagreement with the IRS over your tax debt, you have the right to engage in litigation and a dedicated tax lawyer from Orlando Tax Law can help you fight back. Learn more about your legal options from an Orlando tax litigation lawyer.
Where Federal Tax Litigation Occurs
There are several options for taxpayers when it comes to litigation. The court that the taxpayer chooses will have an impact not only on the outcome of their case but also on whether they have to pay their tax bill upfront or not. A tax litigation attorney in Orlando can advise you on the appropriate court for your lawsuit.
Only certain types of tax liabilities can be discharged in bankruptcy, and even then, whether a tax debt is dischargeable often depends on when the tax return for the tax period in question was due, when it was filed, and when the tax was assessed. Oftentimes, it can only be determined from careful review of IRS transcripts when a tax liability can be dischargeable. While we do not represent clients in Bankruptcy Courts, we do review bankruptcy as an option as part of our comprehensive resolution review and we frequently work with bankruptcy attorneys to provide them the information they need for taxpayer cases. If you are considering bankruptcy as an option to discharge your tax liability or you have other types of non-tax liability like credit card debt or medical debt, give us a call. Bankruptcy may or may not be your best option but it also may not be your only option. Frequently, taxpayers will often work with us to resolve their tax liabilities at the same time as working with a bankruptcy attorney to resolve their other debts.
United States District Court
Much tax litigation occurs in Federal District Courts. In some instances, federal court may be the only court where you will have the choice to pursue your case. In deficiency matters, where we are trying to fight the underlying tax liability, one can file a case in District Court as opposed to Tax Court, but there is a significant drawback to doing so. For these types of cases, Federal District Court is a “pre-payment” forum, which means that a taxpayer must pay their tax bill in full before they can dispute the tax liability. For obvious reasons, this option is not the preferred way to go for many taxpayers, but it is best to speak with an attorney to get a customized plan that addresses your specific needs.
Other types of penalties and tax liabilities can only be disputed in District Court or the Court of Federal Claims. Again, give us a call regarding your tax situation and we can help craft a plan for you, which will include the best forum to dispute your case.
In collection cases, the government, through a U.S. Department of Justice (Tax Division) attorney, will often bring suit against a taxpayer to “reduce a liability to judgment” and potentially seek foreclosure of real estate. When the government is trying to reduce a liability to judgment, they are seeking to extend the ability to collect a liability. The attorneys at Orlando Tax Law are frequently engaged for this type of litigation.
Court of Federal Claims
The Court of Federal Claims is a highly specialized court which has limited jurisdiction, but that jurisdiction includes tax refund suits where a taxpayer is seeking to dispute the underlying liability of a tax assessment. The court is located in Washington, D.C. and litigating in that court can be expensive. However, depending on the facts and complexity of the matter, it may be worth considering from a forum selection point of view.
United States Tax Court
Unlike District Court, in deficiency matters before the Tax Court, there is no requirement that taxpayers first pay the full amount of the disputed liability before they can challenge it in litigation – which is a great benefit to the taxpayer. Tax Court has the jurisdiction to hear numerous types of tax cases, including:
- Innocent spouse relief (relief from joint and several liability)
- Passport Revocation matters
- Coercive Due Process appeals (for either liability disputes or abuse of discretion in collection determinations)
- Partnership administrative adjustments
- Redetermination of interest on deficiencies or overpayments
- Interest abatement claims
- Review of jeopardy assessments
- Disclosure actions
- Review of whistleblower office determinations
- Injunctions for premature assessment or collection
- Declaratory judgments
The attorneys at Orlando Tax Law frequently litigate in Tax Court and have Tax Court matters pending at any given time. We are experienced in fighting liabilities in Tax Court and frequently settle cases on favorable terms for the client. It is extremely important to preserve your ability to dispute a liability in Tax Court. If you have received a statutory Notice of Deficiency or a Collection Due Process Notice of Determination, please contact us right away as those notices are extremely time sensitive.
When to Consider Tax Litigation Counsel
Tax litigation does not happen out of the blue. Generally, there are multiple steps that occur before litigation begins. This is true whether the litigation is pursued by a taxpayer or the federal government. In many deficiency or liability cases, an audit or examination will usually occur before any kind of tax litigation. But that is not always the case depending on the type of tax or penalty that has been assessed. Due to this, it is best to seek litigation counsel from Orlando Tax Law as soon as you have a tax issue or receive a notice.
An Orlando tax litigation attorney can help in multiple ways. In addition to overseeing litigation on your behalf, we can work to resolve a dispute before litigation ever becomes necessary. The earlier in the process a taxpayer seeks legal counsel, the more likely they will be to secure a favorable outcome. This is because we can often preserve the issues necessary in the event that litigation is ever needed, but we must bring up and “preserve” those issues early on in the process. Not only can this be important in deficiency/liability cases, but it is necessary in innocent spouse and Collection Due Process cases as well.
Reach Out to an Orlando Tax Litigation Attorney as Soon as Possible
If you have a tax situation that even has the chance of requiring litigation, there is no better time than now to reach out to legal counsel. Orlando Tax Law can put you in the best position possible to win your case. Let an Orlando tax litigation lawyer fight for you. Call as soon as possible to discuss your situation with a qualified tax attorney.