New Tax Court Rules Proposed

by: Matthew Erickson
1 Aug 2022

On July 15, 2022, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a Notice to the Bar which proposed changes to the New Jersey Court rules which would address Appellate Division opinions which are published in the New Jersey Tax Reports.  The proposed changes are open to comments through August 15, 2022.

The Notice to the Bar addresses two specific parts of the New Jersey Court Rules.  The first part that is addressed is under Rule 1:36-3, which covers unpublished opinions.  Currently, Rule 1:36-3 states that no unpublished decision constitutes any binding precedent with the courts in New Jersey.  Under the proposed amendment, an exception to this rule would be made that allows for Appellate Division opinions that were not approved for publication by the Appellate Division to be cited and have precedential value if they were reported in the New Jersey Tax Reports.

The second and more substantive change is the proposed addition of a new rule in the Tax Court section of the New Jersey Court Rules.  This new rule would standardize the publication of Tax Court opinions and provide for some clarity over the precedential value of cases published in the New Jersey Tax Reports.  Under the new rule, opinions of the Tax Court, which have been approved for publication by the Tax Court, shall be published in the New Jersey Tax Reports.  Opinions of the Appellate Division that have reviewed a published Tax Court opinion, and which do not appear in the New Jersey Superior Court Reporter, are to be published in the New Jersey Tax Reports with consent of the Appellate Division.  Finally, any case published in the New Jersey Tax Reports will be precedential in the Tax Court of New Jersey.

This new rule codifies what had been, for close to three or four decades, the informal rule regarding the precedential value of certain Appellate Division opinions.  The only change from the informal rule, however, is an important one.  That change is the requirement of the Tax Court to obtain consent of the Appellate Division in order to publish an Appellate Division opinion in the New Jersey Tax Reports.  This could seemingly cut down on the amount of Appellate Division decisions that are published in the New Jersey Tax Reports, as many of the Appellate Division decisions have appeared there over the years.

For reference, the Tax Court Committee on Opinions is the deliberative body that determines which opinions are included in the New Jersey Tax Reports.  This Committee typically consists of all sitting Tax Court Judges who currently have a Tax Court docket, which would exclude Tax Court Judges who may be temporarily assigned to the Appellate Division or to any of the regional vicinages for their entire docket.  These Judges meet, typically once a month to determine which matters warrant publication.

As these proposed changes are currently in the comment period, they are subject to being altered or possibly not being adopted in total.  If you wish to propose comments to these rule changes, your comments can be submitted in writing to Glenn A. Grant, the Administrative Director of the Courts or to the New Jersey Courts’ Comments Mailbox at

If you have a New Jersey tax matter that you need advice on, or legal representation in court, an experienced tax attorney can help you navigate through the specifics of each individual case.  If you have any questions concerning your tax issue, contact McKirdy, Riskin, Olson & DellaPelle, P.C. to speak with an experienced attorney. To view the full Notice to the Bar, click here: Notice to the Bar – Tax Court.