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About the Book
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The information you need to win your Tax Court case.
People going to U.S. Tax Court generally think trials and courtrooms are where one talks about the law. They also generally know the law that concerns their case.
The problem is, Tax Court trials are not about the law. They are about the FACTS. The law speaks for itself. Or more accurately, the judge applies the law to the facts that the parties establish at trial.
But you never talk about the law before the facts are on the record! At best, raising questions of law before the trial will confirm for the court and your opponent that you don’t know what you’re doing.
At worst, you give your opponent the rope he needs to hang you.
To win in Tax Court you need to know how to present your facts and keep them in, and how to keep your opponent’s facts out.
You will eventually have to argue the law, but not before you have done battle with the IRS attorneys to determine the facts to which the law will apply. In this battle you need to know the following Rules:
The Tax Court Rules
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
The Federal Rules of Evidence
Rules supplied by the court such as those in Standing Pretrial Orders
These rules have the force of law in the courtroom. Trial lawyers succeed and fail by them. Courtroom battles are over the admission and exclusion of evidence, not over the law.
By knowing this simple fact you know more than 99% of people going to Tax Court on their own!!! And the rules are not long or complicated. You can easily learn them and use them to your advantage.
Tax Court is a hostile environment with its own language and its own rules!
The natives are not there to help you. Their job is to extract every dollar they can from you and they are good at it. They are used to working with people who:
don’t know what’s coming next
don’t know the rules of the court or of procedure
don’t know how to write legal documents
don’t know how to do legal research
don’t understand what’s going on in Tax Court
don’t know what hit them when they lose
The Information You Need to Win
After reading On Your Own in Tax Court you will know the order of events, the special vocabulary of the Court, how to make a motion, and how to respond to one.
You’ll know the Rules of Evidence and how they can help you.
You’ll understand the Rules of the Court.
You’ll know how to find the case law and the legal citations to support your arguments.
You’ll know the answers to these crucial questions:
What is the purpose of a Tax Court trial?
When would a trial not be necessary?
How do you avoid a trial, and when should you?
What are the Elements of a Tax Court Petition?
What is the
How do you oppose a Motion for Summary Judgment?
What is ‘discovery’ and why is it important?
What is the Stipulation of Facts?
What is a Branerton Conference?
What are the elements of a motion, and how do you write one?
What is ‘hearsay’ and how is it used against you?
How do you make objections and when?
When do you argue the law?
If you lose, how do you appeal?
Anyone entering a Tax Court case who can’t answer those questions and many more is walking into an ax fight without an ax.
On Your Own in Tax Court distills 15 years of study and over ten years of Tax Court litigation into a handy reference for all phases of a Tax Court case.
It does not contain legal advice. The author is not a lawyer.
In On Your Own in Tax Court, you get what I’ve learned from personal experience in over 21 years of Tax Court litigation on my own and clients’ cases, from spending thousands of dollars in attorney fees, from thousands of hours of research and study, and my experience working with dozens of other Tax Court litigants and specialists.
Step-by-Step Tax Court Procedures!
The first 200 pages contain an easy to follow, step by step summary of everything you need to know from the start. It’s everything the author wishes he’d known going into his first case.
It is an easy to follow guide to “what happens next” and what you need to know for each step in the process. There are also chapters on Evidence, Motions, Legal Citation, Legal Research, and Legal Writing.
Sample Documents, Motions, Forms, and Resources!
The last 60 pages contains an extensive appendix of sample documents, pleadings, discovery, appeals meetings, and various Court documents.
There is also a bibliography that includes an exhaustive listing of online resources for legal research.
This electronic edition is extensively hot linked to rules, statutes, case law and other authorities cited throughout the book.
“If you are going to tax court, you need this book!”
That’s the common thread running through the testimonials about On Your Own in Tax Court we’ve received from our readers, like this:
“On Your Own In Tax Court will help you navigate the ‘tax court waters’ with confidence, not fear. It is an easy read, written in every day language. Read it through initially to get the over all picture, then use it as a step by step manual to help you hit your dates and deadlines. It is a great reference resource, a play book of sorts for your journey leading up to, through, and after your trial.” — Johnny C. in Tampa, Florida
“Before filing any tax court case, you need to read On Your Own In Tax Court by Lysander Venible. This book has clearly written details and facts on how to maneuver through tax court on your own. It has a lot of examples, a detailed table of contents, and an extensive bibliography for pertinent references.” — Susan L. in Austin, Texas
“I came across Lysander’s work in the middle of my tax court case, and immediately saw the errors I had already made, errors that I could have easily avoided by first scanning through a few pages of Venible’s book. The text is easy to read, well organized, and written to the basic knowledge level of the average person, and I strongly recommend you this book.” — Anne R. in Salt Lake City, Utah
“Received your book. You are right on. I’ve been at ‘War’ with the IRS since 1990.The reason I am excited about your book is that finally I’ve come in contact with someone who gets it and has been there and done that.Your material is well worth the $ and then some. Thank you.” — Jimmy G. in Lowell, Massachusetts
“On Your Own (“OYO”) is an invaluable resource for anyone trying a case in Tax Court. Without the knowledge and guidance in OYO, I would have been like a fish in barrel for my opponent. With OYO: I was able to understand the process, see the traps my opponent was setting for me, and most importantly to take the actions necessary to avoid them. Thanks Lysander!!” — Dave D. in Chicago, Illinois
“I sure wish I had this book going into my recent tax court experience. It makes many topics accessible to the newbie. I think you’ll agree with me that On Your Own in Tax Court is essential for the self represented tax court litigant. Get this book and and ramp up FAST with the info you need to survive!” — Darrell B. in New Bern, New York