* SUPREME COURT REQUIRES TAX COURT TO INCLUDE TRIAL JUDGES' REPORTS ON APPEAL: The Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 decision that the Tax Court may not exclude from the record on appeal Rule 183(b) reports submitted by special trial judges.The Tax Court's chief judge appoints special trial judges to hear certain cases, but the ultimate decision, when tax deficiencies are greater than $50,000, is reserved for the court itself. Tax Court Rule 183(b) directs the special trial judge to submit a report to the chief judge, who assigns the case to a judge of the court. The Tax Court judge is to give due regard to the report and presume that findings of fact contained in the report are correct. The Tax Court judge may then adopt the report "or may modify it or reject it in whole or in part."
After a rule revision in 1983, the reports were no longer included in the record or made public. The taxpayers in the case before the Supreme Court had failed in Tax Court, and believed that the decision - which said that it agreed with and adopted the opinion of the special trial judge - did not, in fact, comport with the report of the special trial judge.
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