Court Jurisdiction: It’s Not Just for Law Professors By A. Lavar Taylor
Lavar Taylor is the Founder of Law Offices of A. Lavar Taylor, APC, in Santa Ana, California. He has li8gated cases in all of the courts discussed in this article, as well as in the federal Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
INTRO Lavar Taylor discusses the statutes governing the jurisdiction of the four key courts which have jurisdiction over almost all civil tax disputes at the trial level (i.e., the Tax Court, District Courts, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and Bankruptcy Courts) and also examines some of the case law which interprets these jurisdictional provisions.
The ability of federal courts to hear tax-related (civil) cases is an important part of our tax compliance system. Federal courts are available to taxpayers and third parties seeking to review various administrative civil actions taken by the IRS whenever those taxpayers and third parties believe the actions taken by the IRS are incorrect. The ability of taxpayers and third parties to seek judicial review of the actions taken by the IRS in front of an independent judge helps prevent the IRS from acting in an improper manner. Human nature being what it is, most persons who know that their decisions can be reviewed by an independent judge will act with more care and consideration than if they know that their decisions cannot be reviewed by an independent judge. Thus, courts are not only important for the cases they decide, but also for acting as a brake on the power of the Executive Branch of the government, in which the IRS is found.