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IRS Motions for Summary Judgement

Tax Court and Motions for Summary JudgmentSecrets exposed – 97 per cent of all Tax Court cases are settled in Appeals.  Taxpayers across the country, however, are starting to see the IRS initiate or file Motions for Summary Judgment instead of sending the cases to Appeals for settlement.  This hard-nosed stance by the IRS is disappointing and of concern.

Motions for Summary Judgment are only applicable if there are no genuine facts at issue.  Summary judgment is a very high standard for the IRS, or any respondent for that matter, to meet.  These should be pretty easy motions to defeat…however, this is new ground in the Tax Court.

How to respond to IRS motions

Taxpayers have two choices to respond if the IRS files a Motion for Summary Judgment:  they may file an objection to the motion or file their own motion for Cross Summary Judgment.  If there are facts in dispute, the Taxpayer objects to the motion – if there are no facts in conflict  and the Tax Court dispute at issue is a matter of law in the Taxpayer’s favor, the Taxpayer may be best served by aggressively filing a Cross Motion for Summary Judgment.

What is disappointing and of concern is if the Appeals Office is not going to be involved in settling these cases, far more Tax Court cases will be going to trial;  neither party is likely to be granted Summary Judgment.  Tax Court litigation will regrettably entail far more time, money and aggravation on the part of both the IRS and the Taxpayer.

Dana M. Ronald


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