Taxpayer Advocate Names Top 10 Most Litigated Issues October 23, 2019

CPE for CPAs - Most litigated issues

According to The Taxpayer Advocate Service Report, here are the top 10 tax issues which generated court opinions from Jun. 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018 (the most recent data). These haven’t changed much from the prior year. The first nine were all the same, and only the trust fund recovery penalty was new, beating out last year’s “joint and several liability for spouses.” In descending order starting with the most litigated issue, they were:

  1. Accuracy-Related Penalty §6662(b)(1) and (2).
  2. Trade or Business Expenses §162(a) and related Code sections
  3. Summons Enforcement §§7602(a), 7604(a), and 7609(a).
  4. Gross Income §61 and related Code sections.
  5. Appeals From Collection Due Process (CDP) hearings §§6320 and 6330.
  6. Failure to File Penalty §6651(a)(1), Failure to Pay Penalty §6651(a)(2)), and Failure to PayEstimated Tax Penalty §6654.
  7. Civil Actions to Enforce Federal Tax Liens or Subject Property to Payment of Tax §7403.
  8. Charitable Deductions §170.
  9. Schedule A Deductions Under §§211-224.
  10. Frivolous issues penalty (§6673 and related appellate level sanctions).


If you and your client are dealing with any of these issues on the preparation of the 2019 tax return or a prior year’s tax return under audit, there will certainly be plenty of case law available to “flesh out” any of these most litigated tax problems.

Sharon Kreider, CPA, has helped more than 15,000 California tax preparers annually get ready for tax season. She also presents regularly for the AICPA, the California Society of Enrolled Agents, CCH Audio, and Western CPE. You’ll benefit from the detailed, hands-on tax knowledge Sharon will share with you—knowledge she gained through her extremely busy, high-income tax practice in Silicon Valley. With her dynamic presentation style, Sharon will demystify complex individual and business tax legislation. She’s a national lecturer for business and professional groups and consistently receives outstanding evaluations. In 2014, she was awarded the prestigious AICPA 2014 Sidney Kess Award for Excellence in Continuing Education.

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Mark Seid, EA, CPA has over 25 years of experience in field of taxation focused on tax controversy. A National Tax Practice Institute graduate, Mark is admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court. He has served as an Internal Revenue Agent with the IRS in San Jose and San Luis Obispo, California, a state director for the California Society of Enrolled Agents, and the chair for the society’s Finance and Budget committee. He regularly presents courses to tax professionals on issues affecting small businesses.

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