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What You Need to Know to Win in Tax Court

On Your Own in Tax Court is an easy to read guide to conducting a case in the United States Tax Court without a lawyer.

It is the result of years of research and experience.  It is the minimum you will need to know if you are to prevail in your case.

Samples from every chapter of “On Your Own in Tax Court” are available for reading or download on this site.

Please note: samples from the are not hot-linked. However, the links in the E-Book are hot-linked to statutes, cases, rules and other authorities or resources.

To get the book, click the top link in the sidebar!

Petitioners to the U.S. Tax Court generally think that trials and courtrooms are where you talk about the law.

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 you 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 it will 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 exclude those of your opponent.

You will eventually need to argue the law, but not before you’ve done battle with the IRS using:

Rules of the Court

Rules of Evidence

Rules of Civil Procedure

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.

U.S. Tax Court is a hostile land with its own
language and customs.

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
  • 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?
  • What are the elements of a Tax Court petition?
  • What is the “Burden of Proof” and who has it?
  • How do you oppose a “Motion for Summary Judgment”?
  • When would you want to?
  • What is discovery and why is it important?
  • What is the “Stipulation of Facts”?
  • What do you NOT want to stipulate to?
  • 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?
  • When do you get to argue the law?
  • If you lose, how do you appeal in a REAL courtroom?

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 five 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.

It contains the information you need to succeed in Tax Court.

You get what he’s learned from personal experience in over five years of Tax Court litigation on his own cases, from spending thousands of dollars in attorney fees, from thousands of hours of research and study, and his experience working with dozens of other Tax Court litigants.

Tax Court Procedures Step By Step

The first 200 pages is 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 know 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 100 pages is 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 and a thorough subject index.

Satisfaction Guaranteed!

The information in this book is guaranteed to help you with your Tax Court case whether you have a lawyer or not.

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If you have questions, you can contact Lysander at lysandervenible [@] startmail.com.