Most Litigated Tax Issues

Most Litigated Tax Issues

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National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson has issued her annual report on the most frequently litigated tax issues:

Internal Revenue Code § 7803(c)(2)(B)(ii)(X) requires the National Taxpayer Advocate to identify the ten tax issues most often litigated in the federal courts, classified by the types of taxpayer affected. Through analysis of these issues, the National Taxpayer Advocatewill, if appropriate, propose legislative recommendations to mitigate disputes that result in litigation.

Here, in order, are the 10 most litigated tax issues::

  1. Collection Due Process hearings (§§ 6320, 6330)
  2. Summons enforcement (§§ 7602(a), 7604(a), 7609(a))
  3. Trade or business expenses (§ 162(a) and related Code sections)
  4. Gross income (§ 61 and related Code sections)
  5. Accuracy-related penalty (§ 6662)
  6. Frivolous Issues Penalty (§ 6673 and related appellate-level sanctions)
  7. Civil Actions to Enforce Federal Tax Liens or to Subject Property to Payment of Tax (§ 7403)
  8. Failure to file penalty (§ 6651(a)(1)) and estimated tax penalty (§ 6654)
  9. Family status issues (§§ 2, 24, 32, and 151)
  10. Relief from joint and several liability for spouses (§ 6015).
About Peter Pappas

Peter is a tax attorney and certified public acccountant with over 20 years experience helping taxpayers resolve their IRS and state tax problems.

He has represented thousands of taxpayers who have been experiencing difficulty dealing with the Internal Revenue Service or State tax officials.

He is a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Bar Association and The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts - Middle District of Florida


  1. Interesting. I try to scan all original source material that might be relevant to my clients or grist for my blog. My obeservation is that the penalties are usually just thrown in and that they would not be litigated by themselves. Family status and releif from joint liability are mainly the stuff of Tax Court Summary opinions. So I’m not sure this list serves its purpose.

  2. Peter,

    Thanks for visiting. I think you’re right about the penalty issue.