District Court Tax Suits
To have your tax lawsuit heard in federal district court, you must pay the disputed tax in advanced, and then sue for a refund. Many attorneys advise their clients to do this, if they can afford it. There is a general belief that decisions in U.S. district court are more objective than decisions in tax court.
Because tax suits are only one of many types of cases that are heard in U.S. district court, they are approached from a broader point of view. The IRS is a party to every single case heard in tax court. Some people believe that such a familiarity breeds a slight favoritism. Also, some pick federal district court because they can get a jury there. There are no juries in tax court. So, if you have the money to pay the tax, your tax attorney should frame your case to look at the advantages and disadvantages of your choice of courts.
The federal rules of civil procedure are followed in district court. These rules are more formal and detailed than the rules of tax court. Following these procedures to the letter is often part of the formula for success of a case. An attorney’s experience in district court is often invaluable for taxpayers seeking a truly favorable outcome.
In the event that the district court does not rule in favor of a taxpayer, that decision can be appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. I have experience at this level, as well. You want your attorney to argue your case persuasively and knowledgeably, seeking every advantage for you. I am such an attorney.
Contact John McDuff
John McDuff has over 20 years of experience evaluating and prosecuting tax cases in tax court, U.S. district court, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. If you are considering filing a district court tax suit, contact us at 512.457.1177 to discuss your case. Or you can contact us online.