After the IRS proposes an “adjustment” to a taxpayer’s return, but before the assessment, (and therefore prior to payment of the tax in dispute), the taxpayer can file a petition with the United States Tax Court, located in Washington, D.C. This is where most cases go if the taxpayer disagrees with the results of an administrative hearing in the IRS Appeals Office.

In the course of asserting a tax deficiency, the IRS issues a Statutory Notice of Deficiency — also called a “90-day letter” because it gives the taxpayer 90 days in which to file a petition with the Tax Court in Fairfax. If no petition is filed, the tax is assessed. But where a petition is filed, litigation begins. The nature of the action is the taxpayer suing the IRS in a specialized court with judges who themselves are tax attorneys and who have a great deal of experience in resolving and deciding tax disputes.

Only an attorney or other practitioner specifically admitted to practice before the Tax Court can represent you. If you need assistance with a matter before the Tax Court and would like assistance, please contact BJ Haynes, Fairfax tax court attorney at Haynes Tax Law or call (703) 913-7500.


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  • Our experience. We have represented hundreds of clients since 1981.
  • We're local, in Northern Virginia and licensed in MD, VA and DC.
  • B.J. Haynes' unique background as IRS Special Agent.