Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Blog of the Legal Times, Fighting the IRS:
Your chances of winning a fight with the IRS are about as great as your chances when fighting City Hall. National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, in her recently-released annual report to Congress, listed the 10 tax issues most litigated in the federal courts. Of the 923 cases involving those issues, taxpayers prevailed in whole, or in part, in 132, or roughly 14%. Taxpayers who were represented by counsel did somewhat better when the numbers were broken down—they won 20%, or 54 of 265 cases; pro se taxpayers prevailed in 12%, or 78 of 658 cases. ...
The 10 most litigated tax issues, in order of greatest number of cases, are:
- Collection Due Process hearings (§§ 6320, 6330)
- Summons enforcement (§§ 7602(a), 7604(a), 7609(a))
- Trade or business expenses (§ 162(a) and related Code sections)
- Gross income (§ 61 and related Code sections)
- Accuracy-related penalty (§ 6662)
- Frivolous Issues Penalty (§ 6673 and related appellate-level sanctions)
- Civil Actions to Enforce Federal Tax Liens or to Subject Property to Payment of Tax (§ 7403)
- Failure to file penalty (§ 6651(a)(1)) and estimated tax penalty (§ 6654)
- Family status issues (§§ 2, 24, 32, and 151)
- Relief from joint and several liability for spouses (§ 6015).