Can I have a tax preparer subpoenaed to court to explain the tax law?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I have a tax preparer subpoenaed to court to explain the tax law?

My ex is taking me to court on contempt charges. I’m the custodial parent and in our parenting plan it states that he can claim our oldest child on his taxes. It says that “parties must sign a waiver” for this to happen. Last year I signed and gave him the form 8332 in court which gives him the right, from me for him to claim our child on his taxes. According to the IRS, I being the custodial parent can claim this same child on 2 parts of my taxes. The non-custodial parent can only claim this child on one which is the “child tax credit”. He cannot claim head of house or earned income credit per the IRS federal law. I have been assigned a Public Defender who has been given a letter from a tax preparer who is allowed to go to court to speak on such matters. If the Public Defender and the judge don’t understand the IRS laws, I may not win against these false allegations.

Asked on May 25, 2018 under Criminal Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

When expertise--whether i terms of science or engineering, or the law--is necessary to a case, either side may present expert witnesses. However, you cannot subpoena an expert witness--you can only subpoena "fact" witnesses, or people who saw or experienced or heard relevant things. People cannot be forced to testify for their expertise: they must testify voluntarily, which generally means paying them for their time. So you can hire a tax expert to testify, but you can't subpoena them or otherwise force them to testify for free.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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