Choice Of Forum Matters: Tax Court And District Court Reach Different Conclusions On Same Facts Regarding Penalties

By Bryan C. Skarlatos & Henry Stow Lovejoy
Journal of Tax Practice & Procedure
October - November 2017 Edition

Taxpayers in a dispute with the IRS have a choice of forum in which to litigate. The Tax Court provides a pre-payment judicial review while taxpayers who pay in advance can sue for refund in Federal District Court. The choice of forum can have a material impact on the outcome of the litigation as is demonstrated by the Federal District Court decision in McNeill1 (“McNeill 1”) and the Tax Court decision in McNeill2 (“McNeill 2”).