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Unformatted text preview: Page 5-1 INSTRUCTORS MANUAL CHAPTER 5 JUDICIAL INTERPRETATIONS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS 5-1. Either the taxpayer or the IRS may initiate legal proceedings in the federal court system. See page 150 of the text. 5-2. The federal court system consists of three trial courts; the Tax Court, the District Courts and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims; and two levels of appellate courts; the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. See page 150 of the text. 5-3. No. An appeal from any of the three trial courts is to the U.S. Court of Appeals. The parties have no direct access to the Supreme Court. See page 151 of the text. 5-4. In most cases involving issues of the tax law, the taxpayer has the burden of proof. The burden of proof is placed on the taxpayer by statute, under the Internal Revenue Code. There are certain designated areas of the tax law where the burden of proof is on the government. See page 151 of the text. 5-5. The Tax Court is a specialized trial court that hears only federal tax cases. See page 153 of the text. 5-6. The Tax Court was established in 1926 as the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA). At that time, it was an administrative board of the Treasury Department, rather than a true judicial court. In 1943, the BTA became an administrative court, and in 1969 its status was upgraded to that of a full judicial court, with enforcement powers. See page 153 of the text. 5-7. Nineteen judges hear Tax Court cases; however, normally a case is presented before only one of the Federal Tax Research, Eighth Edition Page 5-2 nineteen judges. Each judge is appointed to a fifteen-year term by the President, with the advice and confirmation of the Senate. Periodically, the Chief Judge of the Court designates additional temporary Tax Court judges to hear cases. See page 154 of the text. 5-8. No. Taxpayers need not travel to Washington, D.C. because the Tax Court judges travel to various cities throughout the country and hear cases in these locations. In fact, the Tax Court is available to hear taxpayer cases in every major city of the United States several times each year. See page 155 of the text. 5-9. No. Taxpayers cannot request jury trials before the Tax Court. See page 155 of the text. 5-10. If a tax case involves an unusual, important, or novel issue, more than one judge, or the entire Tax Court, might hear the case. This rare occurrence is identified as an " en banc " sitting of the court. See page 155 of the text. 5-11. A regular decision generally involves a new or unusual point of law, as determined by the Chief Judge of the Court. If the Chief Judge believes that the decision concerns only the application of existing law or an interpretation of factual questions, the decision is issued as a Memorandum decision....
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