Kevin Kenworthy Quoted on Impact of Tax Court Vacancies in Bloomberg Tax
"Tax Court Cases Stall as IRS Enforcement Grows, Vacancies Linger"
Kevin Kenworthy discussed the impact of the U.S. Tax Court vacancies, which doubled in 2023, leaving the court with fewer confirmed judges to handle the bevy of cases expected to grow as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) amps up enforcement. The court has 19 Senate-confirmed judges when fully staffed, but only 13 judges currently serve on 15-year terms, working alongside senior and special trial judges to handle thousands of cases, some requiring lengthy trials. Seven of the 13 remaining judges were confirmed during the Trump administration. Kenworthy hasn't observed any major impact of the vacancies yet as the court has managed its caseloads well. The potential for delays will likely be more problematic for ordinary taxpayers and small businesses, some who come to the court with limited knowledge of the process, he said. And if their cases drag out longer, that could mean a higher tax bill at the end. "If the Tax Court ultimately determines that they owe the tax, they're going to have to pay the tax, plus interest," Kenworthy noted. "And that's a problem. It has a greater impact on the mom-and-pop taxpayers than it would on corporate taxpayers."