The Recent Tax Court Decision Demonstrates Jurisdictional Limitations

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Jason B. Freeman

Jason B. Freeman

Managing Member


Mr. Freeman is the founding member of Freeman Law, PLLC. He is a dual-credentialed attorney-CPA, author, law professor, and trial attorney.

Mr. Freeman has been named by Chambers & Partners as among the leading tax and litigation attorneys in the United States and to U.S. News and World Report’s Best Lawyers in America list. He is a former recipient of the American Bar Association’s “On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyers” in America award. Mr. Freeman was named the “Leading Tax Controversy Litigation Attorney of the Year” for the State of Texas for 2019 and 2020 by AI.

Mr. Freeman has been recognized multiple times by D Magazine, a D Magazine Partner service, as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas, and as a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters service. He has previously been recognized by Super Lawyers as a Top 100 Up-And-Coming Attorney in Texas.

Mr. Freeman currently serves as the chairman of the Texas Society of CPAs (TXCPA). He is a former chairman of the Dallas Society of CPAs (TXCPA-Dallas). Mr. Freeman also served multiple terms as the President of the North Texas chapter of the American Academy of Attorney-CPAs. He has been previously recognized as the Young CPA of the Year in the State of Texas (an award given to only one CPA in the state of Texas under 40).

Pope v. Comm’r, T.C. Memo. 2020-62 | May 18, 2020 | Lauber, J. | Dkt. No. 3411-19

Short SummaryThe IRS disallowed Taxpayer’s withholding credits of $7,856.  In conjunction with the disallowance, the IRS issued a notice of deficiency for 2017 of “$.00.”  Although the notice erroneously referred to adjusting Taxpayer’s earned income tax credit, the Taxpayer had not claimed the earned income tax credit on his return.  After Taxpayer filed a petition with the Tax Court, the IRS moved to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction under I.R.C. § 6213.  On these facts, the Tax Court granted the IRS’ motion.

Key IssueWhether the Tax Court has jurisdiction to redetermine an adjustment to withholding credits under I.R.C. § 31.

Primary Holdings:

Key Points of Law:

Insight:  The Pope case demonstrates the fundamental principle that the Tax Court is a court of limited jurisdiction.  Its jurisdiction is therefore limited to that expressly provided by Congress.


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