The number of tax lawsuits filed has declined nearly 10 percent in the past year, and is down more than 30 percent from five years ago, according to a new report.
The report, from Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, is based on an analysis of January 2014 data from the federal courts. It found that a total of 68 new tax lawsuits were filed last month. The U.S. government was the plaintiff in nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of these lawsuits. In the remaining 28 percent, the government was named as a defendant.
Various federal statutes were invoked as the cause of action in the tax lawsuits. The most commonly used for the month of January 2014 were 26 USC 7401 - "IRS: Tax Liability" (37 percent), 26 USC 7402 - "IRS: Petition to Enforce IRS Summons" (25 percent) and 26 USC 7403 - "Suit to Enforce Federal Tax Lien" (9 percent).
The Central District of California — with eight civil filings—was the most active last month. This district was also top-ranked one year ago as well as five years ago. The Western District of Texas, Northern District of California and Middle District of Florida all tied for second place. The Middle District of Florida was ranked in second place a year ago.
The federal judicial district, which showed the greatest growth in tax lawsuits compared to one year ago—200 percent—was the Southern District of California. Compared to five years ago, the district with the biggest growth—300 percent—was the Middle District of Florida.
For the full report, including a five-year timeline and the district rankings, visit http://trac.syr.edu/tracirs/latest/346/.