If the Internal Revenue Service determines that the taxpayer owes additional tax (individual or corporate income tax, estate tax, or gift tax) and or penalties, in almost all cases the IRS must issue a notice of deficiency. The notice of deficiency allows a taxpayer to petition the U.S. Tax Court to review and determine the correct tax liability. The Tax Court is the only forum where the taxpayer may petition a Court to determine the tax liability without first paying the additional tax.
The U.S. Tax Court has unique rules of practice and procedure. An attorney practicing in this forum must understand its unique rules. The attorney should also have an informed opinion how a particular judge conducts pre-trial procedures, trial, evidentiary rulings, post-trial matters, and how each judge is inclined to rule on various issues.
James Kutten is a seasoned litigator in the U.S. Tax Court. Mr. Kutten has 30 years’ experience litigating cases as a senior attorney with the Office of Chief Counsel Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Kutten’s prior litigation involved tough and difficult cases (i.e., indirect method of proof income analysis, federal estate tax valuation issues, tax shelters, partnership transactions, and civil fraud penalties, just to name a few).
Based upon his experience, Mr. Kutten is very comfortable in the courtroom.
While most cases are settled prior to trial, thorough trial preparation often results in a superior settlement. Mr. Kutten understands the dispute resolution process and will properly prepare the case considering the facts, tax law issues, tax procedure, and the court’s rules of practice and procedure.
A taxpayer should retain an attorney who has experience litigating before the U.S. Tax Court and who understands the IRS procedures regarding settlement and the Court’s unique rules of practice and procedure (i.e., jurisdictional and procedural filing issues, pleadings and motions, trial preparation including discovery procedures, pretrial procedures, expert witness testimony, trial proceedings, special rules for partnership items and other unique actions, and post-trial proceedings).