United States Tax Court
LocationUnited States Tax Court Building
Appeals toUnited States courts of appeals (Geographic circuits)
AuthorityArticle I tribunal
Created byRevenue Act of 1924
26 U.S.C. §§ 74417479
Composition methodPresidential nomination
with Senate advice and consent
Judge term length15 years
Chief JudgeKathleen Kerrigan

The United States Tax Court (in case citations, T.C.) is a federal trial court of record established by Congress under Article I of the U.S. Constitution, section 8 of which provides (in part) that the Congress has the power to "constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court".[1] The Tax Court specializes in adjudicating disputes over federal income tax, generally prior to the time at which formal tax assessments are made by the Internal Revenue Service.[2]

Though taxpayers may choose to litigate tax matters in a variety of legal settings, outside of bankruptcy the Tax Court is the only forum in which taxpayers may do so without having first paid the disputed tax in full. Parties who contest the imposition of a tax may also bring an action in any United States District Court, or in the United States Court of Federal Claims; however, these venues require that the tax first be paid and that the party then file suit to recover the contested amount paid (the "full payment rule" of Flora v. United States).[3]


President Calvin Coolidge signing the income tax bill which established the U.S. Board of Tax Appeals; Andrew Mellon is the third figure from the right.

The first incarnation of the Tax Court was the "U.S. Board of Tax Appeals", established by Congress in the Revenue Act of 1924[4][5] (also known as the Mellon tax bill) in order to address the increasing complexity of tax-related litigation. Those serving on the Board were simply designated as "members." The members of the Board were empowered to select, on a biennial basis, one of their members as "chairman."[6] In July 1924, President Calvin Coolidge announced the appointment of the first twelve appointees, of which seven were appointed from private life and five from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.[7] Additional members were appointed in the fall, and the Board when fully constituted originally had 16 members, with Charles D. Hamel serving as the first Chairman.[8] The Board was initially established as an "independent agency in the executive branch of the government."[9] It was housed in the Internal Revenue Service Building in the Federal Triangle.[10] The first session of the Board of Tax Appeals spanned July 16, 1924 to May 31, 1925.[11]

In 1929, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Board of Tax Appeals was not a "court," but was instead "an executive or administrative board, upon the decision of which the parties are given an opportunity to base a petition for review to the courts after the administrative inquiry of the Board has been had and decided."[12]

In 1942, Congress passed the Revenue Act of 1942, renaming the Board as the "Tax Court of the United States".[13] With this change, the Members became Judges and the Chairman became the Presiding Judge. By 1956, overcrowding and the desire to separate judicial and executive powers led to initial attempts to relocate the court. In 1962, Secretary of the Treasury Douglas Dillon appealed to the General Services Administration (GSA) to incorporate funds for the design of a new building in its upcoming budget. The GSA allocated $450,000, and commissioned renowned architect Victor A. Lundy, who produced a design that was approved in 1966.[10] However, funding constraints brought on by the Vietnam War delayed the start of construction until 1972.[10]

The Tax Court was again renamed to its current formal designation in the Tax Reform Act of 1969,[14] changing it from an historically administrative court to a full judicial court. The completed United States Tax Court Building was dedicated on November 22, 1974, the fiftieth anniversary of the Revenue Act that created the court.[10]

In 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court in Freytag v. Commissioner stated that the current United States Tax Court is an "Article I legislative court" that "exercises a portion of the judicial power of the United States."[15] The Court explained the Tax Court "exercises judicial power to the exclusion of any other function" and that it "exercises its judicial power in much the same way as the federal district courts exercise theirs."[16] This "exclusively judicial role distinguishes it from other non-Article III tribunals that perform multiple functions."[17] Thus, Freytag concluded that the Tax Court exercises "judicial, rather than executive, legislative, or administrative, power."[18] The Tax Court "remains independent of the Executive and Legislative Branches" in the sense that its decisions are not subject to appellate review by Congress, the President, or for that matter, Article III district courts.[17] The President, however, may remove Tax Court judges, after notice and opportunity for public hearing, for "inefficiency," "neglect of duty," or "malfeasance in office."[19]

Justice Scalia penned a separate concurrence for four justices in Freytag. These justices dissented as to the Court majority's rationale; they would have characterized the Tax Court's power as "executive" rather than "judicial."[20] Scalia said that to him "it seem[ed]... entirely obvious that the Tax Court, like the Internal Revenue Service, the FCC, and the NLRB, exercises executive power."[21] Notwithstanding Scalia's sharp dissents in landmark separation-of-powers cases such as Mistretta v. United States[22] and Morrison v. Olson,[23] Scalia apparently "describe[d] Freytag as the single worst opinion of his incumbency" on the U.S. Supreme Court.[24]

Although the 2008 U.S. government directory of executive and legislative appointed officers ("the Plum Book") categorized the Tax Court as part of the legislative branch,[25] the 2012 revised version removed the Tax Court and listed it under neither the legislative nor the executive branches.[26]

Under an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 enacted in late 2015, the U.S. Tax Court "is not an agency of, and shall be independent of, the executive branch of the Government."[27] However, section 7443(f) of the Code still provides that a Tax Court judge may be removed by the President "for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office".[28]

Jurisdiction of the Tax Court

The Tax Court provides a judicial forum in which affected persons can dispute tax deficiencies determined by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue prior to payment of the disputed amounts. The jurisdiction of the Tax Court includes, but is not limited to the authority to hear:[citation needed]

  1. tax disputes concerning notices of deficiency
  2. notices of transferee liability
  3. certain types of declaratory judgment
  4. readjustment and adjustment of partnership items
  5. review of the failure to abate interest
  6. administrative costs
  7. worker classification
  8. relief from joint and several liability on a joint return
  9. review of certain collection actions

Congress amended the Internal Revenue Code, now codified in Internal Revenue Code section 7482, providing that decisions of the Tax Court may be reviewed by the applicable geographical United States Court of Appeals other than the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.[29] (See Article I and Article III tribunals).

"Small Tax Cases" are conducted under Internal Revenue Code section 7463, and generally involve amounts in controversy of $50,000 or less for any one tax year.[30] The "Small Tax Case" procedure is available "at the option of the taxpayer."[30] These cases are neither appealable nor precedential.[31]

At times there have been efforts in Congress and the Tax Bar to create a single national Court of Appeals for tax cases (or make Tax Court decisions appealable to a single existing Court of Appeals), to maintain uniformity in the application of the nation's tax laws (the very reason underlying the creation of the Tax Court and the grant of national jurisdiction to the Tax Court), but efforts to avoid "hometown results" or inconsistent results due to a lack of expertise have failed.[citation needed]

An important reason for the movements to create a single national Court of Appeals for tax cases is that the United States Tax Court does not have exclusive jurisdiction over tax cases. In addition to the Tax Court, federal tax matters can be heard and decided in three other courts: U.S. District Courts, the Court of Federal Claims, and the Bankruptcy Court.[32] In the first two instances, the taxpayer bringing the claim generally must have first paid the deficiency determined by the IRS.[33] For the Bankruptcy Court, the tax matter must arise as an issue in a bankruptcy proceeding.[34] Bankruptcy Court appeals are initially to the U.S. District Court.[34] Appeals beyond the U.S. District Courts and the Court of Federal Claims follow the same path as those from the U.S. Tax Court as described above.[34]

With this number of courts involved in making legal determinations on federal tax matters, some observers express concern that the tax laws can be interpreted differently for like cases.[35]

Representation of parties

The Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service or his delegate represents the executive branch in the Tax Court.[36] The Tax Court permits persons who are not attorneys to be admitted to practice (to represent taxpayers) by applying for admission and passing an examination administered by the Court. Attorneys who provide evidence of membership and good standing in a state bar or the D.C. bar can be admitted to the bar of the Court without sitting for the Tax Court examination. Tax Court practice is highly specialized and most practitioners are licensed attorneys who specialize in tax controversies.[citation needed]

Genesis of a Tax Court dispute

Many Tax Court cases involve disputes over federal income tax and penalties, often after an examination by the Internal Revenue Service of a taxpayer's return. After issuance of a series of preliminary written notices and a lack of agreement between the taxpayer and the IRS, the IRS formally "determines" the amount of the "deficiency" and issues a formal notice called a "statutory notice of deficiency," or "ninety day letter".[37] In this context, the term "deficiency" is a legal term of art, and is not necessarily equal to the amount of unpaid tax (although it usually is). The deficiency is generally the excess of the amount the IRS contends is the correct tax over the amount the taxpayer showed on the return—in both cases, without regard to how much has actually been paid.[38]

Upon issuance of the statutory notice of deficiency (after IRS determination of the tax amount, but before the formal IRS assessment of the tax), the taxpayer generally has 90 days to file a Tax Court petition for "redetermination of the deficiency".[39] If no petition is timely filed, the IRS may then statutorily "assess" the tax. To "assess" the tax in this sense means to administratively and formally record the tax on the books of the United States Department of the Treasury.[40] This formal statutory assessment is a critical act, as the statutory tax lien that later arises is effective retroactively to the date of the assessment, and encumbers all property and rights to property of the taxpayer.[41]

Life cycle of a Tax Court case

The United States Tax Court Building in Washington, D.C.

Because of the negative legal consequences ensuing with respect to a statutory assessment (especially the tax lien and the Flora requirement that the taxpayer otherwise pay the full disputed amount and sue for refund), a taxpayer is often well advised to file a Tax Court petition in a timely manner. The rule in the Tax Court is that the taxpayer sues the "Commissioner of Internal Revenue," with the taxpayer as "petitioner" and the Commissioner as "respondent." This rule is an example of an exception to the general rule that the proper party defendant in a tax case filed by a taxpayer against the federal government is "United States of America". In the Tax Court, the Commissioner is not named personally. The "Secretary of the Treasury", the "Department of the Treasury" and the "Internal Revenue Service" are not proper parties.

The petition must be timely filed within the allowable time. The Court cannot extend the time for filing, which is set by statute. A $60 filing fee must be paid when the petition is filed. Once the petition is filed, payment of the underlying tax ordinarily is postponed until the case has been decided. In certain tax disputes involving $50,000 or less, taxpayers may elect to have the case conducted under the Court's simplified small tax case procedure.[42] Trials in small tax cases generally are less formal and result in a speedier disposition. However, decisions entered pursuant to small tax case procedures are not appealable and are not precedential.

Cases are calendared for trial as soon as practicable (on a first in/first out basis) after the case becomes at issue. When a case is calendared, the parties are notified by the Court of the date, time, and place of trial. Trials are conducted before one judge, without a jury, and taxpayers are permitted to represent themselves if they desire. However, the vast majority of cases are settled by mutual agreement without the necessity of a trial. However, if a trial is conducted, in due course a report is ordinarily issued by the presiding judge setting forth findings of fact and an opinion. The case is then closed in accordance with the judge's opinion by entry of a decision.

Appellate review

Either the petitioner (the taxpayer) or the respondent (the Commissioner of Internal Revenue) may take an appeal from an adverse decision of the Tax Court to the appropriate United States Court of Appeals. In the case of an appeal by the taxpayer, a bond is normally required in order to avoid enforcement action during the pendency of the appeal.[43] Instead of taking an appeal, the Internal Revenue Service may issue an "Action on Decision" indicating the Commissioner's "non-acquiescence" in the decision, meaning that the Commissioner will not follow the decision in subsequent cases.[44] In such cases, the Commissioner hopes for the opportunity to litigate the matter in another circuit where he will have a better chance of obtaining reversal on appeal.[citation needed]


Seal of the United States Tax Court.

The Tax Court is composed of 19 judges appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.[45] Former judges whose terms have ended may become "senior judges", able to return and assist the court by hearing cases while serving on recall. In addition, the court is assisted by a number of "special trial judges", who are employees of the court, appointed by the chief judge of the Tax Court, rather than by the President.[46] Special trial judges serve a function similar to that served by United States magistrate judges of the district courts, and may hear cases regarding alleged deficiencies or overpayments of up to $50,000.[47] Reappointment, when requested by a Tax Court judge (I.R.C. 7447(b)(3)) is generally pro forma regardless of the political party of the appointing President and the political party of the re-appointing (sitting) President.[citation needed] Each active judge appointed by the President has two law clerks (attorney-advisers) and each senior judge and special trial judge has one law clerk.

President George W. Bush was heavily criticized by the U.S. Congress, the Tax Bar, and others when he indicated that he likely would not, or might not, re-appoint Tax Court judges whose terms were expiring (even though the first judge whose re-appointment President Bush called into question, Judge John O. Colvin, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan).[citation needed] President Bill Clinton also was criticized for not acting timely to re-appoint Tax Court judges, having allowed one sitting Chief Judge's term to expire, thus requiring the Tax Court to elect a new Chief Judge. Additionally, several Tax Court judges had to wait more than a year (sometimes more than two years) to be reappointed during the Clinton presidency.[citation needed]

Trial sessions are conducted and other work of the Court is performed by its judges, by senior judges serving on recall, and by special trial judges. All of the judges have expertise in the tax laws, and are tasked to "apply that expertise in a manner to ensure that taxpayers are assessed only what they owe, and no more". Although the "principal office" of the Court is located in the District of Columbia, Tax Court judges may sit "at any place within the United States".[48] The judges travel nationwide to conduct trials in various designated cities. The work of the Tax Court has occasionally been interrupted by events. In 2001, a trial session in New York City was canceled due to the September 11 terrorist attacks. In 2005, stops in Miami and New Orleans were canceled due to the effects of hurricanes which had struck shortly before their scheduled visit to each city.[citation needed]

The Tax Court's judges serve 15-year terms, subject to presidential removal during the term for "[I]nefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office."[49] The mandatory retirement age for judges is 70.[50] The judges' salaries are set at the same rate as "[J]udges of the district courts of the United States",[51] currently $210,900 annually.[52]

Current composition of the court

As of September 8, 2023:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
106 Chief Judge Kathleen Kerrigan Washington, D.C. 1964 2012–present 2022–present Obama
93 Judge Maurice B. Foley Washington, D.C. 1960 1995–2010
2018–2022 Clinton
Obama (reappointment)
107 Judge Ronald L. Buch Washington, D.C. 1965 2013–present Obama
109 Judge Joseph W. Nega Washington, D.C. 1960 2013–present Obama
110 Judge Cary Douglas Pugh Washington, D.C. 1966 2014–present Obama
111 Judge Tamara W. Ashford Washington, D.C. 1968 2014–present Obama
112 Judge Patrick J. Urda Washington, D.C. 1976 2018–present Trump
113 Judge Elizabeth A. Copeland Washington, D.C. 1964 2018–present Trump
114 Judge Courtney D. Jones Washington, D.C. 1978 2019–present Trump
115 Judge Emin Toro Washington, D.C. 1974 2019–present Trump
116 Judge Travis A. Greaves Washington, D.C. 1983 2020–present Trump
117 Judge Alina I. Marshall Washington, D.C. 1977 2020–present Trump
118 Judge Christian N. Weiler Washington, D.C. 1979 2020–present Trump
119 Judge vacant Washington, D.C.
120 Judge vacant Washington, D.C.
121 Judge vacant Washington, D.C.
122 Judge vacant Washington, D.C.
123 Judge vacant Washington, D.C.
124 Judge vacant Washington, D.C.
77 Senior Judge Mary Ann Cohen Washington, D.C. 1943 1982–1997
2012–present Reagan
Clinton (reappointment)
88 Senior Judge John O. Colvin Washington, D.C. 1946 1988–2003
2016–present Reagan
G.W. Bush (reappointment)
89 Senior Judge James Halpern Washington, D.C. 1945 1990–2005
2015–present G.H.W. Bush
G.W. Bush (reappointment)
94 Senior Judge Juan F. Vasquez Washington, D.C. 1948 1995–2010
2018–present Clinton
Obama (reappointment)
95 Senior Judge Joseph H. Gale Washington, D.C. 1953 1996–2011
2023–present Clinton
Obama (reappointment)
96 Senior Judge Michael B. Thornton Washington, D.C. 1954 1998–2013
2021–present Clinton
Obama (reappointment)
97 Senior Judge L. Paige Marvel Washington, D.C. 1949 1998–2013
2016–2018 2019–present Clinton
Obama (reappointment)
98 Senior Judge Joseph Robert Goeke Washington, D.C. 1950 2003–2018 2018–present G.W. Bush
102 Senior Judge Mark V. Holmes Washington, D.C. 1960 2003–2018 2018–present G.W. Bush
103 Senior Judge David Gustafson Washington, D.C. 1956 2008–2022 2022–present G.W. Bush
104 Senior Judge Elizabeth Crewson Paris Washington, D.C. 1958 2008–2023 2023–present G.W. Bush
105 Senior Judge Richard T. Morrison Washington, D.C. 1967 2008–2023 2023–present G.W. Bush
108 Senior Judge Albert G. Lauber Washington, D.C. 1950 2013–2020 2020–present Obama

Current special trial judges

As of October 10, 2023, the special trial judges on the court are as follows:[53]

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
Chief Judge Lewis Carluzzo Washington, D.C. 1949 1994–present 2017–present
Judge Peter Panuthos Washington, D.C. 1943 1983–present 1992–2017
Judge Diana L. Leyden Washington, D.C. 1956 2016–present
Judge Adam B. Landy Washington, D.C. 1982 2021–present
Judge Jennifer E. Siegel Washington, D.C. 1974 2023–present
Judge Zachary S. Fried Washington, D.C. 1981 2023–present

Vacancies and pending nominations

Seat Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
10 Mark V. Holmes Expiration of term June 29, 2018 Kashi Way February 1, 2024
13 Michael B. Thornton Senior status January 1, 2021
11 David Gustafson November 1, 2022 Adam B. Landy February 1, 2024
16 Elizabeth Crewson Paris Expiration of term July 29, 2023 Rose E. Jenkins
15 Richard T. Morrison August 28, 2023
7 Joseph H. Gale Senior status 2023

Former members of the Board of Tax Appeals and Tax Court

Former members were part of the Board of Tax Appeals until 1942, and part of the Tax Court since 1942.[54]

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
1 Jules Gilmer Korner Jr. NC 1888–1967 1924–1927 1925–1927 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
2 W. C. Lansdon KS 1863–1940 1924–1934 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
expiration of term
3 Benjamin Horsley Littleton TN 1889–1966 1924–1929 1927–1929 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
elevation to the Court of Claims
4 John J. Marquette MT 1879–1935 1924–1935 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
5 Charles P. Smith MA 1878–1948 1924–1946 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
F. Roosevelt (1934 reappointment)
expiration of term
6 John M. Sternhagen IL 1888–1954 1924–1946 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
F. Roosevelt (1934 reappointment)
expiration of term
7 Charles M. Trammell FL 1886–1967 1924–1936 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
8 Sumner L. Trussell MN 1860–1931 1924–1931 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
9 Adolphus E. Graupner CA 1875–1947 1924–1926 Coolidge expiration of term
10 Charles D. Hamel DC 1881–1970 1924–1925 1924–1925 Coolidge resignation
11 James S.Y. Ivins NY 1885–1960 1924–1925 Coolidge resignation
12 Albert E. James WI 1892–1952 1924–1926 Coolidge expiration of term
13 Logan Morris UT 1889–1977 1925–1937 1929–1933 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
14 Percy W. Phillips NY 1892–1969 1925–1931 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
15 William R. Green Jr. IA 1888–1966 1925–1929 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
16 William D. Love TX 1859–1933 1925–1933 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
Hoover (1932 reappointment)
17 C. Rogers Arundell OR 1885–1968 1925–1955 1937–1941 1955–1968 Coolidge
Coolidge (1926 reappointment)
F. Roosevelt (1938 reappointment)
Truman (1950 reappointment)
18 John B. Milliken AZ 1893–1981 1926–1929 Coolidge resignation
19 J. Edgar Murdock PA 1894–1977 1926–1961 1941–1945
1962–1969 Coolidge
Hoover (1932 reappointment)
F. Roosevelt (1944 reappointment)
Eisenhower (1956 reappointment)
20 Ernest H. Van Fossan OH 1888–1970 1926–1955 1955–1961 Coolidge
Hoover (1932 reappointment)
F. Roosevelt (1944 reappointment)
21 Forest D. Siefkin IL 1891–1964 1927–1929 Coolidge resignation
22 Stephen J. McMahon WI 1881–1960 1929–1936 Hoover resignation
23 Eugene Black TX 1879–1975 1929–1953 1933–1937 1953–1966 Hoover
Hoover (1932 reappointment)
F. Roosevelt (1944 reappointment)
24 Herbert F. Seawell NC 1869–1949 1929–1936 Hoover expiration of term
25 Annabel Matthews GA 1883–1960 1930–1936 Hoover expiration of term
26 Edgar J. Goodrich WV 1896–1969 1931–1935 Hoover expiration of term
27 James Russell Leech PA 1888–1952 1932–1952 Hoover
F. Roosevelt (1934 reappointment)
Truman (1946 reappointment)
28 Jed C. Adams TX 1876–1935 1933–1935 F. Roosevelt death
29 Bolon B. Turner AR 1897–1987 1934–1962 1945–1949 1962–1971 F. Roosevelt
Truman (1946 reappointment)
Eisenhower (1958 reappointment)
30 Arthur Johnson Mellott KS 1888–1957 1935–1945 F. Roosevelt
F. Roosevelt (1936 reappointment)
elevation to D. Kan.
31 William W. Arnold IL 1877–1957 1935–1950 F. Roosevelt
F. Roosevelt (1944 reappointment)
32 John A. Tyson MS 1873–1971 1935–1950 F. Roosevelt
F. Roosevelt (1938 reappointment)
expiration of term
33 Richard L. Disney OK 1887–1976 1936–1951 F. Roosevelt
Truman (1948 reappointment)
34 Samuel B. Hill WA 1875–1958 1936–1953 F. Roosevelt
Truman (1948 reappointment)
35 Marion Janet Harron CA 1903–1972 1936–1960 1960–1961
F. Roosevelt
Truman (1948 reappointment)
36 Justin Miller NC 1888–1973 1936–1937 F. Roosevelt elevation to D.C. Cir.
37 John W. Kern Jr. IN 1900–1971 1937–1961 1949–1955 1961–1971 F. Roosevelt
F. Roosevelt (1938 reappointment)
Truman (1950 reappointment)
38 Clarence V. Opper NY 1897–1964 1938–1964 F. Roosevelt
F. Roosevelt (1938 reappointment)
Truman (1950 reappointment)
Kennedy (1962 reappointment)
39 Byron B. Harlan OH 1886–1949 1946–1949 Truman
Truman (1948 reappointment)
40 Clarence P. LeMire MO 1886–1961 1946–1956 1956–1959 Truman retirement
41 Luther Alexander Johnson TX 1875–1965 1946–1956 Truman resignation
42 Norman O. Tietjens OH 1903–1983 1950–1971 1961–1967 1971–1983 Truman
Kennedy (1962 reappointment)
43 Arnold Raum MA 1908–1999 1950–1978 1978–1998 Truman
Eisenhower (1960 reappointment)
Nixon (1972 reappointment)
44 Stephen E. Rice FL 1905–1958 1950–1958 Truman
Eisenhower (1956 reappointment)
45 J. Gregory Bruce KY 1897–1985 1952–1967 1967–1981 Truman
Eisenhower (1958 reappointment)
46 Graydon G. Withey MI 1910–1994 1952–1972 1972–1974 Truman
Eisenhower (1960 reappointment)
47 Morton P. Fisher MD 1897–1965 1954–1965 Eisenhower
Eisenhower (1956 reappointment)
48 Arnold R. Baar IL 1891–1954 1954–1954 Eisenhower death
49 Allin H. Pierce IL 1897–1980 1955–1967 1967–1968 Eisenhower
Eisenhower (1960 reappointment)
50 Craig S. Atkins MD 1903–1990 1955–1972 1972–1972 Eisenhower
Kennedy (1962 reappointment)
51 John E. Mulroney IA 1896–1979 1955–1966 1966–1970 Eisenhower
Eisenhower (1956 reappointment)
52 Bruce Forrester MO 1908–1995 1957–1976 1976–1984 Eisenhower
Eisenhower (1958 reappointment)
Nixon (1970 reappointment)
53 Russell E. Train DC 1920–2012 1957–1965 Eisenhower
Eisenhower (1958 reappointment)
54 William Miller Drennen WV 1914–2000 1958–1980 1967–1973 1980–1993 Eisenhower
L. Johnson (1968 reappointment)
55 Irene F. Scott AL 1912–1997 1960–1982 1982–1997 Eisenhower
Nixon (1972 reappointment)
56 William M. Fay PA 1915–2000 1961–1985 1985–2000 Kennedy
L. Johnson (1968 reappointment)
Carter (1980 reappointment)
57 Howard Dawson MD 1922–2016 1962–1985 1973–1977
Nixon (1970 reappointment)
58 Austin Hoyt CO 1915–1976 1962–1973 1973–1976 Kennedy death
59 Theodore Tannenwald Jr. NY 1916–1999 1965–1983 1981–1983 1983–1999 L. Johnson
Nixon (1974 reappointment)
60 Charles R. Simpson IL 1921–2015 1965–1987 1987–1988 L. Johnson
L. Johnson (1968 reappointment)
Carter (1980 reappointment)
61 C. Moxley Featherston VA 1914–1998 1967–1983 1977–1981 1983–1991 L. Johnson
L. Johnson (1968 reappointment)
Carter (1980 reappointment)
62 Leo H. Irwin NC 1917–1995 1968–1983 1983–1984 L. Johnson
Nixon (1970 reappointment)
63 Samuel B. Sterrett MD 1922–2013 1968–1988 1985–1988 L. Johnson
Reagan (1985 reappointment)
64 William H. Quealy VA 1913–1993 1969–1980 Nixon
Nixon (1972 reappointment)
65 William A. Goffe OK 1929–2019 1971–1986 1986–1992 Nixon retirement
66 Cynthia Holcomb Hall CA 1929–2011 1972–1981 Nixon elevation to 9th Cir.
67 Darrell D. Wiles MO 1914–2001 1972–1984 1984–1987 Nixon retirement
68 Richard C. Wilbur MD 1936–2020 1974–1986 1986–1987 Nixon retirement
69 Herbert Chabot MD 1931–2022 1978–2001 2001–2015 Carter
Clinton (1993 reappointment)
70 Arthur Nims NJ 1923–2019 1979–1992 1988–1992 1992–2011 Carter retirement
71 Edna G. Parker VA 1930–1996 1980–1995 1995–1996 Carter death
72 Sheldon V. Ekman CT 1920–1982 1980–1982 Carter death
73 Meade Whitaker MI 1919–2005 1982–1989 1989–1995 Reagan retirement
74 Jules G. Körner III MD 1922–2000 1982–1992 1992–1997 Reagan retirement
75 Perry Shields TN 1925–2002 1982–1994 1994–1994 Reagan retirement
76 Lapsley W. Hamblen Jr. VA 1926–2012 1982–1996 1992–1996 1996–2000 Reagan retirement
78 Charles Clapp RI 1923–2004 1983–1993 1993–1998 Reagan retirement
79 Stephen Swift CA/VA 1943–present 1983–2008 2008–2009 Reagan
Clinton (2000 reappointment)
80 Julian Jacobs MD 1937–present 1984–1999 1999–2019 Reagan retirement
81 Joel Gerber VA 1940–2022 1984–2006 2004–2006 2006–2020 Reagan
Clinton (2000 reappointment)
82 Lawrence A. Wright VT 1927–2000 1984–1996 1996–2000 Reagan death
83 Carolyn Miller Parr MD 1937–present 1985–2001 2001–2002 Reagan retirement
84 B. John Williams VA 1949–present 1985–1990 Reagan resignation
85 Thomas B. Wells GA/MD 1945–present 1986–2011 1997
2011–2022 Reagan
G.W. Bush (2001 reappointment)
86 Robert Ruwe VA 1941–2022 1987–2002 2002–2020 Reagan retirement
87 Laurence Whalen OK 1944–present 1987–2002 2002–2018 Reagan retirement
90 Renato Beghe NY 1933–2012 1991–2003 2003–2012 G.H.W. Bush death
91 Carolyn Chiechi MD 1943–present 1992–2007 2007–2018 G.H.W. Bush retirement
92 David Laro MI 1942–2018 1992–2007 2007–2018 G.H.W. Bush death
99 Harry Haines MT 1939–present 2003–2009 2009–2016 G.W. Bush retirement
100 Robert Wherry CO 1944–present 2003–2014 2014–2018 G.W. Bush retirement
101 Diane Kroupa MN 1955–present 2003–2014 G.W. Bush resignation

Succession of seats

The court has 19 seats for active judges, numbered in the order in which they were initially filled. Judges who assume senior status enter a kind of retirement in which they remain on the bench but vacate their seats, thus allowing the U.S. President to appoint new judges to fill their seats.


  1. ^ a b c Milliken, Murdock and Van Fossan succeeded original board members Graupner, Ivins and James, but as they were appointed as a group, it is unclear who succeeded whom.

Past special trial judges



  1. ^ U.S. Constitution., article I, section 8, cl. 9.
  2. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7441.
  3. ^ 357 U.S. 63 (1958), affirmed on rehearing, 362 U.S. 145 (1960).
  4. ^ Richard A. Levine, Theodore D. Peyser & David A. Weintraub, Tax Court Litigation, Tax Management Portfolio, Volume 630, Bloomberg BNA (4th ed. 2012).
  5. ^ Revenue Act of 1924, sec. 900, Ch. 234, 43 Stat. 253, 336 et seq. (June 2, 1924).
  6. ^ Revenue Act of 1924, sec. 900(d), Ch. 234, 43 Stat. 253, 337 (June 2, 1924).
  7. ^ "Newly Appointed Tax Board To Be Organized At Once", The Baltimore Sun (July 4, 1924), p. 6.
  8. ^ Reports of the United States Board of Tax Appeals, Volume 1, p. 3 (Government Printing Office, 1926)
  9. ^ Revenue Act of 1924, sec. 900(k), Ch. 234, 43 Stat. 253, 338 (June 2, 1924).
  10. ^ a b c d U.S. Tax Court Building, U.S. General Services Administration, accessed September 13, 2009.
  11. ^ Reports of the United States Board of Tax Appeals, Volume 1, p. 1 (Government Printing Office, 1926)
  12. ^ Old Colony Trust Co. v. Commissioner, 279 U.S. 716 (1929), at [1].
  13. ^ Revenue Act of 1942, sec. 504(a), Pub. L. 753, Ch. 619, 56 Stat. 798, 957 (October 21, 1942).
  14. ^ "Search". University of North Texas Libraries.
  15. ^ "FREYTAG ET AL. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE". 1991. p. 891. 501 U.S. 868 (1991).
  16. ^ Id. at 891.
  17. ^ a b Id. at 892.
  18. ^ Id. at 890–91.
  19. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7443.
  20. ^ 501 U.S. 868, 912 (1991), at https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=1508365253681917692&q=Freytag+commissioner&hl=en&as_sdt=3,44. (Scalia, J., concurring in part and concurring in the judgment).
  21. ^ Id.
  22. ^ 488 U.S. 361, 427 (1989) (Scalia, J., dissenting) (stating that the Court "fails to recognize that this case is not about commingling, but about the creation of a new Branch altogether, a sort of junior varsity Congress.").
  23. ^ 487 U.S. 654, 697 (1988) (Scalia, J., dissenting) ("Frequently an issue of this sort will come before the Court clad, so to speak, in sheep's clothing: the potential of the asserted principle to effect important change in the equilibrium of power is not immediately evident, and must be discerned by a careful and perceptive analysis. But this wolf comes as a wolf.").
  24. ^ Peter L. Strauss, Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, 62 Vand. L. Rev. En Banc 51, 57 (2009) (reporting hearing this comment firsthand).
  25. ^ United States Policy and Supporting Positions, page 2. Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, United States Senate, 110th Congress, 2d Session (November 12, 2008). Available: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/plumbook/2008/index.html.
  26. ^ United States Policy and Supporting Positions. Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, United States House, 112th Congress, 2d Session (December 1, 2012). Available: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-PLUMBOOK-2012/content-detail.html.
  27. ^ Section 441, Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015, Division Q of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (December 18, 2015) (text added at the end of section 7441 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).
  28. ^ 26 U.S.C. § 7443.
  29. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7482(a)(1).
  30. ^ a b See 26 U.S.C. § 7463(a).
  31. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7463(b), which states: "A decision entered in any case in which the proceedings are conducted under this section shall not be reviewed in any other court and shall not be treated as a precedent for any other case."
  32. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7422(a),(e) with regard to the first two courts; 11 U.S.C. § 105(a),(e) with regard to the latter.
  33. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7422(a).
  34. ^ a b c See Steve R. Johnson, "The Phoenix and the Perils of the Second Best: Why Heightened Appellate Deference to Tax Court Decisions is Undesirable," 77 Oregon Law Review, 235, 239–242 (Spring 1998) for a review of federal court jurisdiction including, especially, as to the Bankruptcy Court.
  35. ^ See Johnson, op.cit.; David F. Shores, "Deferential Review of Tax Court Decisions: Dobson Revisited," 49 Tax Lawyer, 629 (Spring 1996); David F. Shores, "Rethinking Deferential Review of Tax Court Decisions," 53 Tax Lawyer 35 (Fall 1999); and Andre Smith, "Deferential Reviews of Tax Court Decisions of Law: Promoting Expertise, Uniformity, and Impartiality," 58 Tax Lawyer 361, for a useful exchange on different views of the matter.
  36. ^ 26 U.S.C. § 7452. Although, as explained below, the "Commissioner of Internal Revenue" is the proper party to be sued in Tax Court, the statute actually states that the "Secretary" is represented by the IRS Chief Counsel (or delegate). However, the term "Secretary" is defined in 26 U.S.C. § 7701(a)(11)(B) as the "Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate." Further, the term "or his delegate" is defined (in this context) at 26 U.S.C. § 7701(a)(12)(A)(i) as "any officer, employee or agency of the Treasury Department duly authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury directly, or indirectly by one or more redelegations of authority [ . . . . ]"
  37. ^ See generally 26 U.S.C. § 6212.
  38. ^ See generally 26 U.S.C. § 6211
  39. ^ See generally 26 U.S.C. § 6213.
  40. ^ 26 U.S.C. § 6201 through 26 U.S.C. § 6203.
  41. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 6321 and 26 U.S.C. § 6322.
  42. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7463.
  43. ^ Rule 190, Tax Court Rules
  44. ^ "Actions On Decisions (AOD)". apps.irs.gov.
  45. ^ See generally 26 U.S.C. § 7443(a) and (b).
  46. ^ 26 U.S.C. § 7443A (a).
  47. ^ 26 U.S.C. § 7443A (b)(3).
  48. ^ See 26 U.S.C. § 7445.
  49. ^ 26 U.S.C. 7443(f)
  50. ^ 26 U.S.C. 7447.
  51. ^ 26 U.S.C. 7443(c)(1)
  52. ^ Judicial Compensation Available https://www.uscourts.gov/judges-judgeships/judicial-compensation.
  53. ^ "Judges". United States Tax Court.
  54. ^ Maule, James Edward (2000). "Tax Court Judges and Members of the Board of Tax Appeals".


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