DEFINITION of 'Tax Court'

A specialized court of law that hears and adjudicates tax-related disputes and issues. The tax court in the United States is a federal court established by Congress to provide a judicial forum where an entity could contest a tax deficiency determined by the Internal Revenue Service before paying the disputed amount. The Tax Court of Canada, a superior court established in 1983 that is independent of the Canada Revenue Agency and other departments of the Canadian government, hears tax-related cases in Canada.


Tax courts have the authority to provide rulings on a wide range of taxation subjects. The U.S. Tax Court hears cases relating to income, estate and gift tax; it also rules on tax disputes ranging from notices of deficiency and worker classification to reviews of collection actions. Most of the cases heard by the Tax Court of Canada are in connection with income tax, goods and services tax and employment insurance.

The U.S. Tax Court is located in Washington and has 19 members who are appointed by the President. A Tax Court case commences with the filing of a petition, for which a $60 filing fee must be paid. The case is heard by a single judge, and taxpayers may be represented either by themselves or by legal practitioners admitted to the bar of the Tax Court.

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