May 26, 2012
State Trend: Independent Tax Courts
Thomson Reuters Legal, Heard in More States: See You in Tax Court!:
Six states have established or considered establishing independent tax tribunals in the last two years, a trend supported by the business community, but one which also is stirring debate about the need for these new tribunals.
Eighteen other states have well-established tax courts, and another nine states and the District of Columbia offer independent tax courts or forums that do not have to be staffed by tax experts. Twenty-one states, including Alabama, do not have independent tax courts at all, among them are three of the largest states -- California, Texas and Florida.
Some critics say independent tax tribunals layer costs and complexity onto systems that already are slow and cumbersome, helping tax lawyers perhaps more than their clients. States set them up nonetheless, in part because the systems make them appear friendlier to business at a time of high unemployment and interstate rivalry for jobs.
(Hat Tip: Francine Lipman.)
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CPAs may represent taxpayers in federal tax court. However, in the new Georgia state tax court, the legal profession successfully lobbied to block CPAs from representing taxpayers on state issues.
"The Illinois Department of Revenue, which has traditionally heard tax appeals itself, was one of the opponents of that state's new court. Department spokeswoman Susan Hofer said a tax court will make appeals more time-consuming and costlier since taxpayers will have to hire lawyers."
Posted by: Woody | May 26, 2012 11:17:52 PM