TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, April 25, 2005

Government's Success Rate in Tax Court Appeals Nothing To Brag About

Tax_analysts_logo_33 Sheryl Stratton has an interesting news report, Justice Riding High, Ready to Take on Son-of-BOSS, also available on the Tax Analysts web site as Doc 2005-8434,  2005 TNT 77-3:

With government litigation success rates climbing, the Justice Department's Tax Division is ramping up to take on the son-of-BOSS cases.

This sentence caught my eye:

[T]he government is winning more of the cases on appeal from the Tax Court. Last year it won 77% of the cases appealed by the government . . . .  That figure represents a significant increase over the 44% of those cases brought two years ago.

From an historical perspective, the government's 77% success rate in appeals from the Tax Court is nothing to brag about.  In an early article, Tax Myopia, or Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Tax Lawyers, 13 Va. Tax Rev. 517 (1994), I compiled the government's success rate in appeals from the Tax Court over a 25-year period:

Government’s Success Rate in Appeals from Tax Court

Years

Success Rate

1968-1972

77.8%

1973-1977

82.3%

1978-1982

82.7%

1983-1987

90.7%

1988-1992

84.9%

Average

83.6%

Viewed in this light, the government's 77% success rate in Tax Court appeals in 2004 is below the historical average, and its 44% success rate in 2002 was shockingly low.

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The Tax Prof Blog links to an article by Sheryl Stratton, which notes that the government’s success rate in appeals from the Tax Court is “nothing to brag about,” as its current 77% success rate is just about as low [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 25, 2005 7:55:44 AM