You are here
U.S. Tax Court, 1969-present
Originally U.S. Board of Tax Appeals, 1924-1942
Tax Court of the United States, 1942-1969
The United States Tax Court is a court of record established under Article I of the Constitution in 1969 (83 Stat. 730) to adjudicate disputes over tax deficiencies determined by the Internal Revenue Service prior to payment. The court has its origins in the Bureau of Tax Appeals, an executive agency established in 1924 (43 Stat. 336, 338) to deal with the growing number and complexity of disputes over tax liability following the adoption and expansion of the federal income and profits taxes. Though styled as a bureau, the body performed largely judicial functions from the outset, hearing appeals from the Bureau of Internal Revenue. In 1942 the Board was renamed the Tax Court of the United States (56 Stat. 798, 957) to reflect this role, though its powers and agency status remained the same.
Following unsuccessful legislative movements to convert the court into an Article III tribunal, with the attendant salary and tenure protections for its judges, Congress again changed the Court’s name in 1969. Now known as the United States Tax Court, the court retained its Article I status, but was designated a “court of record,” rather than an executive agency. This appellation was designed to enhance the court’s practical and symbolic independence. Though the court’s judges were not accorded tenure during good behavior, their terms of office were increased from twelve to fifteen years and they became eligible for retirement with full pay if their positions were not renewed at the end of a fifteen-year term. The judges of the court must be younger than sixty five when appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Harold Dubroff and Brant J. Hellwig, The United States Tax Court: An Historical Analysis (2d ed. 2014).