The Tax Court is weighing proposals that would make it easier for tax practitioners to help unrepresented taxpayers by allowing limited-scope court appearances…
Travis W. Thompson of Sideman & Bancroft LLP noted that the large number of pro se Tax Court petitioners stems not only from taxpayers being unable to afford help but also from tax disputes being too small to justify hiring a competent attorney. Whatever the reason, petitioners face the same difficulties in understanding both the tax law and Tax Court procedures, he
Thompson said that the limited-representation proposals would help not only petitioners and potential volunteers, but also the Tax Court itself. He noted that allowing pro bono attorneys to directly address the court using limited appearances will clarify the attorneys’ obligations for all three parties.
“The ultimate conclusion is that taxpayers receive greater access to the proper use of the law, and the Tax Court runs more smoothly, which serves the interests of justice,” Thompson said.