Taxpayers who don't have a good case but try to use the courts simply to stall tax collections are finding the tactic increasingly expensive...

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WASHINGTON — Taxpayers who don’t have a good case but try to use the courts simply to stall tax collections are finding the tactic increasingly expensive, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warns.

Since the beginning of last year, the U.S. Tax Court has imposed penalties totaling $117,500 on taxpayers for bringing frivolous cases to delay collections.

This brings the total penalties in such cases since 2001 to $378,900, the IRS said.

In addition, federal appeals courts have upheld six earlier Tax Court decisions imposing penalties totaling $15,600.

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“Taxpayers have rights they should use when appropriate,” said Kevin Brown, commissioner of the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division. “But anyone who abuses those rights should understand they can incur significant penalties.”

Under the law, the Tax Court may impose penalties of up to $25,000 on taxpayers who go to court merely to delay payment.