When will the Judge decide my case? (When will I find out whether I’ve won or lost my case?)
- There is no fixed time within which a Judge will decide your case. The Judge might issue an oral opinion (called a Bench Opinion) during the trial session. If a Bench Opinion is not issued, the Judge will return to Washington, D.C. to review the testimony and exhibits in the case and issue an opinion as quickly as practicable.
Yes. The different kinds of opinions are set forth below.
A. Bench Opinion - As described above, the Judge may issue a Bench Opinion in a regular or S case during the trial session. In this situation, the Judge orally states the opinion in court during the trial session. The Tax Court will send you a copy of the transcript reflecting the Judge's opinion within a few weeks after the trial. A Bench Opinion cannot be relied on as precedent. All bench opinions delivered after March 1, 2008, are electronically viewable through the Tax Court's Docket Inquiry system.
B. Summary Opinion - A Summary Opinion is issued in an S case. A Summary Opinion cannot be relied on
as precedent, and the decision cannot be appealed.
C. Tax Court Opinion or Memorandum Opinion - The Chief Judge decides whether an opinion in a regular case will be issued as a Memorandum Opinion or as a Tax Court Opinion.
Generally, a Memorandum Opinion is issued in a regular case that does not involve a novel legal issue. A Memorandum Opinion addresses cases where the law is settled or factually driven. A Memorandum Opinion can be cited as legal authority, and the decision can be appealed. A Memorandum Opinion is cited as [Name of Petitioner] v. Commissioner. T.C. Memo. [year issued - #].
Generally, a Tax Court Opinion is issued in a regular case when the Tax Court believes it involves a sufficiently important legal issue or principle. A Tax Court Opinion can be cited as legal authority, and the decision can be appealed. A Tax Court Opinion is cited as [Name of Petitioner] v. Commissioner. [Volume of Tax Court Reports] T.C. [page of the volume] (year issued).
The opinions of the Tax Court (other than Bench Opinions) are posted daily on the Tax Court's Web site after 3:30 p.m. (Eastern time) and categorized as described above. Bench Opinions issued after March 1, 2008, are electronically viewable on the Tax Court's Web site.