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Tax Law Research

U.S. Tax Court

A specialized court that hears only federal tax cases at the trial level.  

  • Trial by jury is not available.  
  • The advantage of this court is in depth tax knowledge. Also taxpayers do not have to pay the disputed amount before the case is heard.
  • A national court, the Tax Court hears cases in different locations across the country.  
  • Appeals go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the taxpayer resides.  
  • Prior to 1943, called the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA).
  • Issues two types of decisions: regular and memorandum.

U.S. District Courts

U.S. District Courts hear all disputes governed by the U.S.C., including tax matters.

  • Actions are brought as refund suits as taxpayers must pay the disputed amount in advance.
  • Appeals go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the circuit.
  • Published in F. Supp., F. Supp.2d and topical case reporters

United States Court of Federal Claims

The Court of Federal Claims hears cases involving monetary claims against the federal government.  

  • Taxpayer must pay the disputed amount in advance.
  • No right to jury trial.
  • A national court but follows precedent of the U.S. District Courts.
  • Appeals go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • Cases published in West’s Federal Claims Reporter (Fed. Cl.) (1992- present)
  • LexisAdvance: Browse Sources > Search Sources “federal claims” > US Court of Federal Claims, Claims Court & Court of Claims Cases
  • Westlaw: U.S. Court of Federal Claims Cases
  • ​Previous names of this court: United States Claims Court (1982-1992); United States Court of Claims (Prior to 1982).

Tax Case Reporters

  • American Federal Tax Reports (AFTR, AFTR 2d): Contain federal and state tax court cases. Available on RIA Checkpoint.
  • United States Tax Cases (USTC):  Published by CCH; available in CCH Cheetah. Contains federal cases from District
    Courts, Court of Claims, etc.

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