Collapse to view only § 7441. Status

§ 7441. Status

There is hereby established, under article I of the Constitution of the United States, a court of record to be known as the United States Tax Court. The members of the Tax Court shall be the chief judge and the judges of the Tax Court. The Tax Court is not an agency of, and shall be independent of, the executive branch of the Government.

(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 879; Pub. L. 91–172, title IX, § 951, Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 730; Pub. L. 114–113, div. Q, title IV, § 441, Dec. 18, 2015, 129 Stat. 3126.)
§ 7442. Jurisdiction

The Tax Court and its divisions shall have such jurisdiction as is conferred on them by this title, by chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939, by title II and title III of the Revenue Act of 1926 (44 Stat. 10–87), or by laws enacted subsequent to February 26, 1926.

(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 879.)
§ 7443. Membership
(a) Number

The Tax Court shall be composed of 19 members.

(b) Appointment

Judges of the Tax Court shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, solely on the grounds of fitness to perform the duties of the office.

(c) Salary
(1) Each judge shall receive salary at the same rate and in the same installments as judges of the district courts of the United States.
(2) For rate of salary and frequency of installment see section 135, title 28, United States Code, and section 5505, title 5, United States Code.
(d) Expenses for travel and subsistence

Judges of the Tax Court shall receive necessary traveling expenses, and expenses actually incurred for subsistence while traveling on duty and away from their designated stations, subject to the same limitations in amount as are now or may hereafter be applicable to the United States Court of International Trade.

(e) Term of office

The term of office of any judge of the Tax Court shall expire 15 years after he takes office.

(f) Removal from office

Judges of the Tax Court may be removed by the President, after notice and opportunity for public hearing, for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office, but for no other cause.

(g) Disbarment of removed judges

A judge of the Tax Court removed from office in accordance with subsection (f) shall not be permitted at any time to practice before the Tax Court.

(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 879; Mar. 2, 1955, ch. 9, § 1(h), 69 Stat. 10; Pub. L. 88–426, title IV, § 403(i), Aug. 14, 1964, 78 Stat. 434; Pub. L. 91–172, title IX, §§ 952, 953, Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 730; Pub. L. 96–417, title VI, § 601(10), Oct. 10, 1980, 94 Stat. 1744; Pub. L. 96–439, § 1(a), (b), Oct. 13, 1980, 94 Stat. 1878.)
§ 7443A. Special trial judges
(a) Appointment

The chief judge may, from time to time, appoint special trial judges who shall proceed under such rules and regulations as may be promulgated by the Tax Court.

(b) Proceedings which may be assigned to special trial judges
The chief judge may assign—
(1) any declaratory judgment proceeding,
(2) any proceeding under section 7463,
(3) any proceeding where neither the amount of the deficiency placed in dispute (within the meaning of section 7463) nor the amount of any claimed overpayment exceeds $50,000,
(4) any proceeding under section 6320 or 6330,
(5) any proceeding under section 7436(c),
(6) any proceeding under section 7623(b)(4), and
(7) any other proceeding which the chief judge may designate,
to be heard by the special trial judges of the court.
(c) Authority to make court decision

The court may authorize a special trial judge to make the decision of the court with respect to any proceeding described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of subsection (b), subject to such conditions and review as the court may provide.

(d) Salary
Each special trial judge shall receive salary—
(1) at a rate equal to 90 percent of the rate for judges of the Tax Court, and
(2) in the same installments as such judges.
(e) Expenses for travel and subsistence

Subsection (d) of section 7443 shall apply to special trial judges subject to such rules and regulations as may be promulgated by the Tax Court.

(Added Pub. L. 99–514, title XV, § 1556(a), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2754; amended Pub. L. 105–206, title III, §§ 3103(b)(1), 3401(c), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 731, 749; Pub. L. 105–277, div. J, title IV, § 4002(e), Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–907; Pub. L. 109–280, title VIII, § 857(a), (b), Aug. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 1020; Pub. L. 109–432, div. A, title IV, § 406(a)(2), Dec. 20, 2006, 120 Stat. 2959.)
[§ 7443B. Repealed. Pub. L. 110–458, title I, § 108(l), Dec. 23, 2008, 122 Stat. 5110]
§ 7444. Organization
(a) Seal

The Tax Court shall have a seal which shall be judicially noticed.

(b) Designation of chief judge

The Tax Court shall at least biennially designate a judge to act as chief judge.

(c) Divisions

The chief judge may from time to time divide the Tax Court into divisions of one or more judges, assign the judges of the Tax Court thereto, and in case of a division of more than one judge, designate the chief thereof. If a division, as a result of a vacancy or the absence or inability of a judge assigned thereto to serve thereon, is composed of less than the number of judges designated for the division, the chief judge may assign other judges to the division or direct the division to proceed with the transaction of business without awaiting any additional assignment of judges thereto.

(d) Quorum

A majority of the judges of the Tax Court or of any division thereof shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business of the Tax Court or of the division, respectively. A vacancy in the Tax Court or in any division thereof shall not impair the powers nor affect the duties of the Tax Court or division nor of the remaining judges of the Tax Court or division, respectively.

(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 880.)
§ 7445. Offices

The principal office of the Tax Court shall be in the District of Columbia, but the Tax Court or any of its divisions may sit at any place within the United States.

(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 880.)
§ 7446. Times and places of sessions

The times and places of the sessions of the Tax Court and of its divisions shall be prescribed by the chief judge with a view to securing reasonable opportunity to taxpayers to appear before the Tax Court or any of its divisions, with as little inconvenience and expense to taxpayers as is practicable.

(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 880.)
§ 7447. Retirement
(a) DefinitionsFor purposes of this section—
(1) The term “Tax Court” means the United States Tax Court.
(2) The term “judge” means the chief judge or a judge of the Tax Court; but such term does not include any individual performing judicial duties pursuant to subsection (c).
(3) In any determination of length of service as judge there shall be included all periods (whether or not consecutive) during which an individual served as judge, as judge of the Tax Court of the United States, or as a member of the Board of Tax Appeals.
(span) Retirement
(1) Any judge shall retire upon attaining the age of 70.
(2) Any judge who meets the age and service requirements set forth in the following table may retire:

 The judge has attained age:

And the years of service as a judge are at least:

65

15  

66

14  

67

13  

68

12  

69

11  

70

10.

(3) Any judge who is not reappointed following the expiration of the term of his office may retire upon the completion of such term, if (A) he has served as a judge of the Tax Court for 15 years or more and (B) not earlier than 9 months preceding the date of the expiration of the term of his office and not later than 6 months preceding such date, he advised the President in writing that he was willing to accept reappointment to the Tax Court.
(4) Any judge who becomes permanently disabled from performing his duties shall retire.
Section 8335(a) of title 5 of the United States Code (relating to automatic separation from the service) shall not apply in respect of judges. Any judge who retires shall be designated “senior judge”.
(c) Recalling of retired judgesAt or after his retirement, any individual who has elected to receive retired pay under subsection (d) may be called upon by the chief judge of the Tax Court to perform such judicial duties with the Tax Court as may be requested of him for any period or periods specified by the chief judge; except that in the case of any such individual—
(1) the aggregate of such periods in any one calendar year shall not (without his consent) exceed 90 calendar days; and
(2) he shall be relieved of performing such duties during any period in which illness or disability precludes the performance of such duties.
Any act, or failure to act, by an individual performing judicial duties pursuant to this subsection shall have the same force and effect as if it were the act (or failure to act) of a judge of the Tax Court; but any such individual shall not be counted as a judge of the Tax Court for purposes of section 7443(a). Any individual who is performing judicial duties pursuant to this subsection shall be paid the same compensation (in lieu of retired pay) and allowances for travel and other expenses as a judge.
(d) Retired payAny individual who—
(1) retires under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (span) and elects under subsection (e) to receive retired pay under this subsection shall receive retired pay during any period at a rate which bears the same ratio to the rate of the salary payable to a judge during such period as the number of years he has served as judge bears to 10; except that the rate of such retired pay shall not be more than the rate of such salary for such period; or
(2) retires under paragraph (4) of subsection (span) and elects under subsection (e) to receive retired pay under this subsection shall receive retired pay during any period at a rate—
(A) equal to the rate of the salary payable to a judge during such period if before he retired he had served as a judge not less than 10 years; or
(B) one-half of the rate of the salary payable to a judge during such period if before he retired he had served as a judge less than 10 years.
Such retired pay shall begin to accrue on the day following the day on which his salary as judge ceases to accrue, and shall continue to accrue during the remainder of his life. Retired pay under this subsection shall be paid in the same manner as the salary of a judge. In computing the rate of the retired pay under paragraph (1) of this subsection for any individual who is entitled thereto, that portion of the aggregate number of years he has served as a judge which is a fractional part of 1 year shall be eliminated if it is less than 6 months, or shall be counted as a full year if it is 6 months or more. In computing the rate of the retired pay under paragraph (1) of this subsection for any individual who is entitled thereto, any period during which such individual performs services under subsection (c) on a substantially full-time basis shall be treated as a period during which he has served as a judge.
(e) Election to receive retired payAny judge may elect to receive retired pay under subsection (d). Such an election—
(1) may be made only while an individual is a judge (except that in the case of an individual who fails to be reappointed as judge at the expiration of a term of office, it may be made at any time before the day after the day on which his successor takes office);
(2) once made, shall be irrevocable;
(3) in the case of any judge other than the chief judge, shall be made by filing notice thereof in writing with the chief judge; and
(4) in the case of the chief judge, shall be made by filing notice thereof in writing with the Office of Personnel Management.
The chief judge shall transmit to the Office of Personnel Management a copy of each notice filed with him under this subsection.
(f) Retired pay affected in certain casesIn the case of an individual for whom an election to receive retired pay under subsection (d) is in effect—
(1) 1-year forfeiture for failure to perform judicial duties

If such individual during any calendar year fails to perform judicial duties required of him by subsection (c), such individual shall forfeit all rights to retired pay under subsection (d) for the 1-year period which begins on the 1st day on which he so fails to perform such duties.

(2) Permanent forfeiture of retired pay where certain non-Government services performed

If such individual performs (or supervises or directs the performance of) legal or accounting services in the field of Federal taxation for his client, his employer, or any of his employer’s clients, such individual shall forfeit all rights to retired pay under subsection (d) for all periods beginning on or after the 1st day on which he engages in any such activity. The preceding sentence shall not apply to any civil office or employment under the Government of the United States.

(3) Suspension of retired pay during period of compensated Government service

If such individual accepts compensation for civil office or employment under the Government of the United States (other than the performance of judicial duties pursuant to subsection (c)), such individual shall forfeit all rights to retired pay under subsection (d) for the period for which such compensation is received.

(4) Forfeitures of retired pay under paragraphs (1) and (2) not to apply where individual elects to freeze amount of retired pay
(A) In generalIf any individual makes an election under this paragraph—
(i) paragraphs (1) and (2) (and subsection (c)) shall not apply to such individual beginning on the date such election takes effect, and
(ii) the retired pay under subsection (d) payable to such individual for periods beginning on or after the date such election takes effect shall be equal to the retired pay to which such individual would be entitled without regard to this clause at the time of such election.
(B) ElectionAn election under this paragraph—
(i) may be made by an individual only if such individual meets the age and service requirements for retirement under paragraph (2) of subsection (span),
(ii) may be made only during the period during which the individual may make an election to receive retired pay or while the individual is receiving retired pay, and
(iii) shall be made in the same manner as the election to receive retired pay.
Such an election, once it takes effect, shall be irrevocable.
(C) When election takes effect

Any election under this paragraph shall take effect on the 1st day of the 1st month following the month in which the election is made.

(g) Coordination with civil service retirement
(1) General rule

(2) Effect of electing retired payIn the case of any individual who has filed an election to receive retired pay under subsection (d)—
(A) no annuity or other payment shall be payable to any person under the civil service retirement laws with respect to any service performed by such individual (whether performed before or after such election is filed and whether performed as judge or otherwise);
(B) no deduction for purposes of the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund shall be made from retired pay payable to him under subsection (d) or from any other salary, pay, or compensation payable to him, for any period beginning after the day on which such election is filed; and
(C) such individual shall be paid the lump-sum credit computed under sections 8331(8) and 8401(19) of title 5 of the United States Code upon making application therefor with the Office of Personnel Management.
(h) Retirement for disability
(1) Any judge who becomes permanently disabled from performing his duties shall certify to the President his disability in writing. If the chief judge retires for disability, his retirement shall not take effect until concurred in by the President. If any other judge retires for disability, he shall furnish to the President a certificate of disability signed by the chief judge.
(2) Whenever any judge who becomes permanently disabled from performing his duties does not retire and the President finds that such judge is unable to discharge efficiently all the duties of his office by reason of permanent mental or physical disability and that the appointment of an additional judge is necessary for the efficient dispatch of business, the President shall declare such judge to be retired.
(i) Revocation of election to receive retired pay
(1) In general

Notwithstanding subsection (e)(2), an individual who has filed an election to receive retired pay under subsection (d) may revoke such election at any time before the first day on which retired pay (or compensation under subsection (c) in lieu of retired pay) would (but for such revocation) begin to accrue with respect to such individual.

(2) Manner of revoking

Any revocation under this subsection shall be made by filing a notice thereof in writing with the Office of Personnel Management. The Office of Personnel Management shall transmit to the chief judge a copy of each notice filed under this subsection.

(3) Effect of revocationIn the case of any revocation under this subsection—
(A) for purposes of this section, the individual shall be treated as not having filed an election to receive retired pay under subsection (d),
(B) for purposes of section 7448—
(i) the individual shall be treated as not having filed an election under section 7448(span), and
(ii) section 7448(g) shall not apply, and the amount credited to such individual’s account (together with interest at 3 percent per annum, compounded on December 31 of each year to the date on which the revocation is filed) shall be returned to such individual,
(C) no credit shall be allowed for any service as a judge of the Tax Court unless with respect to such service either there has been deducted and withheld the amount required by the civil service retirement laws or there has been deposited in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund an amount equal to the amount so required, with interest,
(D) the Tax Court shall deposit in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund an amount equal to the additional amount it would have contributed to such Fund but for the election under subsection (e), and
(E) if subparagraph (D) is complied with, service on the Tax Court shall be treated as service with respect to which deductions and contributions had been made during the period of service.
(j) Thrift Savings Plan
(1) Election to contribute
(A) In general

A judge of the Tax Court may elect to contribute to the Thrift Savings Fund established by section 8437 of title 5, United States Code.

(B) Period of election

An election may be made under this paragraph only during a period provided under section 8432(span) of title 5, United States Code, for individuals subject to chapter 84 of such title.

(2) Applicability of title 5 provisions

Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the provisions of subchapters III and VII of chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code, shall apply with respect to a judge who makes an election under paragraph (1).

(3) Special rules
(A) Amount contributed

The amount contributed by a judge to the Thrift Savings Fund in any pay period shall not exceed the maximum percentage of such judge’s basic pay for such period as allowable under section 8440f of title 5, United States Code. Basic pay does not include any retired pay paid pursuant to this section.

(B) Contributions for benefit of judge

No contributions under section 8432(c) of title 5, United States Code, shall be made for the benefit of a judge who has filed an election to receive retired pay under subsection (e).

(C) Applicability of section 8433(span) of title 5 whether or not judge retiresSection 8433(span) of title 5, United States Code, applies with respect to a judge who makes an election under paragraph (1) and who either—
(i) retires under subsection (span), or
(ii) ceases to serve as a judge of the Tax Court but does not retire under subsection (span).
Retirement under subsection (span) is a separation from service for purposes of subchapters III and VII of chapter 84 of that title.
(D) Applicability of section 8351(span)(5) of title 5

The provisions of section 8351(span)(5) of title 5, United States Code, shall apply with respect to a judge who makes an election under paragraph (1).

(E) Exception

Notwithstanding subparagraph (C), if any judge retires under this section, or resigns without having met the age and service requirements set forth under subsection (span)(2), and such judge’s nonforfeitable account balance is less than an amount that the Executive Director of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board prescribes by regulation, the Executive Director shall pay the nonforfeitable account balance to the participant in a single payment.

(F) Offset

In the case of a judge who receives a distribution from the Thrift Savings Plan and who later receives retired pay under subsection (d), the retired pay shall be offset by an amount equal to the amount of the distribution which represents the Government’s contribution to the individual’s Thrift Savings Account during years of service as a full-time judicial officer under the Federal Employees Retirement System, without regard to earnings attributable to such amount. Where such an offset would exceed 50 percent of the retired pay to be received in the first year, the offset may be divided equally over the first 2 years in which the individual receives the annuity.

(k) Teaching compensation of retired judges

For purposes of the limitation under section 501(a) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.), any compensation for teaching approved under section 502(a)(5) of such Act shall not be treated as outside earned income when received by a judge of the United States Tax Court who has retired under subsection (span) for teaching performed during any calendar year for which such a judge has met the requirements of subsection (c), as certified by the chief judge, or has retired under subsection (span)(4).

(Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736, 68A Stat. 880; Puspan. L. 89–354, § 1, Fespan. 2, 1966, 80 Stat. 5; Puspan. L. 91–172, title IX, §§ 954, 960(c), (d), Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 730, 734; Puspan. L. 92–41, § 4(a), July 1, 1971, 85 Stat. 99; Puspan. L. 95–472, § 1, Oct. 17, 1978, 92 Stat. 1332; Puspan. L. 97–362, title I, § 106(d), Oct. 25, 1982, 96 Stat. 1730; Puspan. L. 99–514, title XV, § 1557(a), (span), (d), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2756, 2757; Puspan. L. 100–647, title I, § 1015(k)(1), Nov. 10, 1988, 102 Stat. 3571; Puspan. L. 109–280, title VIII, § 853(a), Aug. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 1016; Puspan. L. 113–295, div. A, title II, § 221(a)(115), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 4054; Puspan. L. 117–328, div. T, title VII, § 701(a)(1), (2), (c)(1), (d)(1), Dec. 29, 2022, 136 Stat. 5398, 5401.)
§ 7447A. Retirement for special trial judges
(a) In general
(1) Retirement

Any special trial judge appointed pursuant to section 7443A may retire from service as a special trial judge if the individual meets the age and service requirements set forth in the following table:

If the special trial judge has attained age:

And the years of service as a special trial judge are at least:

65

15

66

14

67

13

68

12

69

11

70

10.

(2) Length of service

In making any determination of length of service as a special trial judge there shall be included all periods (whether or not consecutive) during which an individual served as a special trial judge

(b) Retirement upon disability

Any special trial judge appointed pursuant to section 7443A who becomes permanently disabled from performing such individual’s duties shall retire from service as a special trial judge.

(c) Recalling of retired special trial judges
Any individual who has retired pursuant to subsection (a) may be called upon by the chief judge to perform such judicial duties with the Tax Court as may be requested of such individual for a period or periods specified by the chief judge, except that in the case of any such individual—
(1) the aggregate of such periods in any 1 calendar year shall not (without the consent of such individual) exceed 90 calendar days, and
(2) such individual shall be relieved of performing such duties during any period in which illness or disability precludes the performance of such duties.
Any act, or failure to act, by an individual performing judicial duties pursuant to this subsection shall have the same force and effect as if it were the act (or failure to act) of a special trial judge. Any individual who is performing judicial duties pursuant to this subsection shall be paid the same compensation (in lieu of retired pay) and allowances for travel and other expenses as a special trial judge.
(d) Retired pay
(1) In general
Any individual who retires pursuant to subsection (a) and elects under subsection (e) to receive retired pay under this subsection shall receive retired pay during any period of retirement from service as a special trial judge at a rate which bears the same ratio to the rate of the salary payable to a special trial judge during such period as—
(A) the number of years such individual has served as special trial judge bears to,
(B) 15,
except that the rate of such retired pay shall not be more than the rate of such salary for such period.
(2) Retirement upon disability
Any individual who retires pursuant to subsection (b) and elects under subsection (e) to receive retired pay under this subsection shall receive retired pay during any period of retirement from service as a special trial judge—
(A) at a rate equal to the rate of the salary payable to a special trial judge during such period, if the individual had at least 10 years of service as a special trial judge before retirement, and
(B) at a rate equal to ½ the rate described in subparagraph (A), if the individual had fewer than 10 years of service as a special trial judge before retirement.
(3) Beginning date and payment

Retired pay under this subsection shall begin to accrue on the day following the date on which the individual’s salary as a special trial judge ceases to accrue, and shall continue to accrue during the remainder of such individual’s life. Retired pay under this subsection shall be paid in the same manner as the salary of a special trial judge.

(4) Partial years

In computing the rate of the retired pay for an individual to whom paragraph (1) applies, any portion of the aggregate number of years such individual has served as a special trial judge which is a fractional part of 1 year shall be eliminated if it is less than 6 months, or shall be counted as a full year if it is 6 months or more.

(5) Recalled service

In computing the rate of the retired pay for an individual to whom paragraph (1) applies, any period during which such individual performs services under subsection (c) on a substantially full-time basis shall be treated as a period during which such individual has served as a special trial judge.

(e) Election to Receive Retired Pay
Any special trial judge may elect to receive retired pay under subsection (d). Such an election—
(1) may be made only while an individual is a special trial judge (except that in the case of an individual who fails to be reappointed as a special trial judge, such election may be made within 60 days after such individual leaves office as a special trial judge),
(2) once made, shall be irrevocable, and
(3) shall be made by filing notice thereof in writing with the chief judge.
The chief judge shall transmit to the Office of Personnel Management a copy of each notice filed with the chief judge under this subsection.
(f) Other rules made applicable

The rules of subsections (f), (g), (h)(2), (i), and (j), and the first sentence of subsection (h)(1), of section 7447 shall apply to a special trial judge in the same manner as a judge of the Tax Court. For purposes of the preceding sentence, any reference to the President in such subsections shall be applied as if it were a reference to the chief judge.

(Added Pub. L. 117–328, div. T, title VII, § 702(a), Dec. 29, 2022, 136 Stat. 5402.)
§ 7448. Annuities to surviving spouses and dependent children of judges and special trial judges
(a) DefinitionsFor purposes of this section—
(1) The term “Tax Court” means the United States Tax Court.
(2) The term “judge” means the chief judge or a judge of the Tax Court, including any individual receiving retired pay (or compensation in lieu of retired pay) under section 7447 whether or not performing judicial duties pursuant to section 7447(c).
(3) The term “chief judge” means the chief judge of the Tax Court.
(4) The term “judge’s salary” means the salary of a judge received under section 7443(c), retired pay received under section 7447(d), and compensation (in lieu of retired pay) received under section 7447(c).
(5) The term “special trial judge” means a judicial officer appointed pursuant to section 7443A, including any individual receiving an annuity under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5, United States Code.
(6) The term “special trial judge’s salary” means the salary of a special trial judge received under section 7443A(d), any amount received as an annuity under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5, United States Code.
(7) The term “survivors annuity fund” means the Tax Court judges survivors annuity fund established by this section.
(8) The term “surviving spouse” means a surviving spouse of an individual, who either (A) shall have been married to such individual for at least 2 years immediately preceding his death or (B) is a parent of issue by such marriage, and who has not remarried.
(9) The term “dependent child” means an unmarried child, including a dependent stepchild or an adopted child, who is under the age of 18 years or who because of physical or mental disability is incapable of self-support.
(10) The terms “assassinated” and “assassination” mean the killing of a judge or special trial judge that is motivated by the performance by the judge or special trial judge of his or her official duties.
(b) Election
(1) Judges

Any judge may by written election filed while he is a judge (except that in the case of an individual who is not reappointed following expiration of his term of office, it may be made at any time before the day after the day on which his successor takes office) bring himself within the purview of this section. In the case of any judge other than the chief judge the election shall be filed with the chief judge; in the case of the chief judge the election shall be filed as prescribed by the Tax Court.

(2) Special trial judges

Any special trial judge may by written election filed with the chief judge elect the application of this section. Such election shall be filed while such individual is a special trial judge.

(c) Survivors annuity fund
(1) Salary deductions

There shall be deducted and withheld from the salary of each judge or special trial judge electing under subsection (b) a sum equal to 3.5 percent of such judge’s or special trial judge’s salary. The amounts so deducted and withheld from such judge’s or special trial judge’s salary shall, in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed by the Comptroller General of the United States, be deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of a fund to be known as the “Tax Court judicial officers survivors annuity fund” and said fund is appropriated for the payment of annuities, refunds, and allowances as provided by this section. Each judge or special trial judge electing under subsection (b) shall be deemed thereby to consent and agree to the deductions from his salary as provided in this subsection, and payment less such deductions shall be a full and complete discharge and acquittance of all claims and demands whatsoever for all judicial services rendered by such judge or special tria

(2) Appropriations where unfunded liability
(A) In general

Not later than the close of each fiscal year, there shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the credit of the survivors annuity fund, in accordance with such procedures as may be prescribed by the Comptroller General of the United States, amounts required to reduce to zero the unfunded liability (if any) of such fund. Subject to appropriation Acts, such deposits shall be taken from sums available for such fiscal year for the payment of amounts described in subsection (a)(4) and section 7443A(d), and shall immediately become an integrated part of such fund.

(B) Exception

The amount required by subparagraph (A) to be deposited in any fiscal year shall not exceed an amount equal to 11 percent of the aggregate amounts described in subsection (a)(4) and (a)(6) paid during such fiscal year.

(C) Unfunded liability definedFor purposes of subparagraph (A), the term “unfunded liability” means the amount estimated by the Secretary to be equal to the excess (as of the close of the fiscal year involved) of—
(i) the present value of all benefits payable from the survivors annuity fund (determined on an annual basis in accordance with section 9503 of title 31, United States Code), over
(ii) the sum of—(I) the present values of future deductions under subsection (c) and future deposits under subsection (d), plus(II) the balance in such fund as of the close of such fiscal year.
(D) Amounts not credited to individual accounts

Amounts appropriated pursuant to this paragraph shall not be credited to the account of any individual for purposes of subsection (g).

(d) Deposits in survivors annuity fund

Each judge or special trial judge electing under subsection (b) shall deposit, with interest at 3 percent per anspan, compounded on December 31 of each year, to the credit of the survivors annuity fund, a sum equal to 3.5 percent of his judge’s or special trial judge’s salary and of his basic salary, pay, or compensation for service as a Senator, Representative, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner in Congress, and for any other civilian service within the purview of sections 8332 and 8411 of title 5 of the United States Code. Each such judge or special trial judge may elect to make such deposits in installments during the continuance of his service as a judge or special trial judge in such amount and under such conditions as may be determined in each instance by the chief judge. Notwithstanding the failure of a judge or special trial judge to make such deposit, credit shall be allowed for the service rendered, but the annuity of the surviving spouse of such judge or special trial judge shall be reduced by an amount equal to 10 percent of the amount of such deposit, computed as of the date of the death of such judge or special trial judge, unless such surviving spouse shall elect to eliminate such service entirely from credit under subsection (n), except that no deposit shall be required from a judge or special trial judge for any year with respect to which deductions from his salary were actually made under the civil service retirement laws and no deposit shall be required for any honorable service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States.

(e) Investment of survivors annuity fund

The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest from time to time, in interest-bearing securities of the United States or Federal farm loan bonds, such portions of the survivors annuity fund as in his judgment may not be immediately required for the payment of the annuities, refunds, and allowances as provided in this section. The income derived from such investments shall constitute a part of said fund for the purpose of paying annuities and of carrying out the provisions of subsections (g), (h), and (j).

(f) Crediting of deposits

The amount deposited by or deducted and withheld from the salary of each judge or special trial judge electing to bring himself within the purview of this section for credit to the survivors annuity fund shall be credited to an individual account of such judge or special trial judge.

(g) Termination

If the service of any judge or special trial judge electing under subsection (b) terminates other than pursuant to the provisions of section 7447 or if any judge or special trial judge ceases to be married after making the election under subsection (b) and revokes (in a writing filed as provided in subsection (b)) such election, the amount credited to his individual account, together with interest at 3 percent per anspan, compounded on December 31 of each year, to the date of his relinquishment of office, shall be returned to him. For the purpose of this section, the service of any judge or special trial judge electing under subsection (b) who is not reappointed following expiration of his term but who, at the time of such expiration, is eligible for and elects to receive retired pay under section 7447 shall be deemed to have terminated pursuant to said section.

(h) Entitlement to annuity
(1) In general
(A) Annuity to surviving spouse

If a judge or special trial judge described in paragraph (2) is survived by a surviving spouse but not by a dependent child, there shall be paid to such surviving spouse an annuity beginning with the day of the death of the judge or special trial judge or following the surviving spouse’s attainment of age 50, whichever is the later, in an amount computed as provided in subsection (m).

(B) Annuity to surviving spouse and childIf a judge or special trial judge described in paragraph (2) is survived by a surviving spouse and dependent child or children, there shall be paid to such surviving spouse an annuity, beginning on the day of the death of the judge or special trial judge, in an amount computed as provided in subsection (m), and there shall also be paid to or on behalf of each such child an immediate annuity equal to the lesser of—
(i) 10 percent of the average annual salary of such judge or special trial judge (determined in accordance with subsection (m)), or
(ii) 20 percent of such average annual salary, divided by the number of such children.
(C) Annuity to surviving dependent childrenIf a judge or special trial judge described in paragraph (2) leaves no surviving spouse but leaves a surviving dependent child or children, there shall be paid to or on behalf of each such child an immediate annuity equal to the lesser of—
(i) 20 percent of the average annual salary of such judge or special trial judge (determined in accordance with subsection (m)), or
(ii) 40 percent of such average annual salary divided by the number of such children.
(2) Covered judgesParagraph (1) applies to any judge or special trial judge electing under subsection (b)—
(A) who dies while a judge or special trial judge after having rendered at least 18 months of civilian service computed as prescribed in subsection (n), for the last 18 months of which the salary deductions provided for by subsection (c)(1) or the deposits required by subsection (d) have actually been made or the salary deductions required by the civil service retirement laws have actually been made, or
(B) who dies by assassination after having rendered less than 18 months of civilian service computed as prescribed in subsection (n) if, for the period of such service, the salary deductions provided for by subsection (c)(1) or the deposits required by subsection (d) have actually been made.
(3) Termination of annuity
(A) Surviving spouse

The annuity payable to a surviving spouse under this subsection shall be terminable upon such surviving spouse’s death or such surviving spouse’s remarriage before attaining age 55.

(B) Surviving childAny annuity payable to a child under this subsection shall be terminable upon the earliest of—
(i) the child’s attainment of age 18,
(ii) the child’s marriage, or
(iii) the child’s death,
except that if such child is incapable of self-support by reason of mental or physical disability the child’s annuity shall be terminable only upon death, marriage, or recovery from such disability.
(C) Dependent child after death of surviving spouse

In case of the death of a surviving spouse of a judge or special trial judge leaving a dependent child or children of the judge or special trial judge surviving such spouse, the annuity of such child or children shall be recomputed and paid as provided in paragraph (1)(C).

(D) Recomputation with respect to other dependent children

In any case in which the annuity of a dependent child is terminated under this subsection, the annuities of any remaining dependent child or children based upon the service of the same judge or special trial judge shall be recomputed and paid as though the child whose annuity was so terminated had not survived such judge.

(E) Special rule for assassinated judges

In the case of a survivor of a judge or special trial judge described in paragraph (2)(B), there shall be deducted from the annuities otherwise payable under this section an amount equal to the amount of salary deductions that would have been made if such deductions had been made for 18 months prior to the death of the judge or special trial judge.

(i) Determination by chief judge
(1) Dependency and disability

Questions of dependency and disability arising under this section shall be determined by the chief judge subject to review only by the Tax Court, the decision of which shall be final and conclusive. The chief judge may order or direct at any time such medical or other examinations as he shall deem necessary to determine the facts relative to the nature and degree of disability of any dependent child who is an annuitant or applicant for annuity under this section, and may suspend or deny any such annuity for failure to submit to any examination so ordered or directed.

(2) Assassination

The chief judge shall determine whether the killing of a judge or special trial judge was an assassination, subject to review only by the Tax Court. The head of any Federal agency that investigates the killing of a judge or special trial judge shall provide to the chief judge any information that would assist the chief judge in making such a determination.

(j) Payments in certain cases
(1) In any case in which—
(A) a judge or special trial judge electing under subsection (b) shall die while in office (whether in regular active service, retired from such service under section 7447, or receiving any annuity under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5, United States Code), before having rendered 5 years of civilian service computed as prescribed in subsection (n), or after having rendered 5 years of such civilian service but without a survivor or survivors entitled to annuity benefits provided by subsection (h), or
(B) the right of all persons entitled to annuity under subsection (h) based on the service of such judge or special trial judge shall terminate before a valid claim therefor shall have been established,
the total amount credited to the individual account of such judge or special trial judge, with interest at 3 percent per anspan, compounded on December 31 of each year, to the date of the death of such judge or special trial judge, shall be paid, upon the establishment of a valid claim therefor, to the person or persons surviving at the date title to the payment arises, in the following order of precedence, and such payment shall be a bar to recovery by any other person:
(i) to the beneficiary or beneficiaries whom the judge or special trial judge may have designated by a writing filed prior to his death with the chief judge, except that in the case of the chief judge such designation shall be by a writing filed by him, prior to his death, as prescribed by the Tax Court;
(ii) if there be no such beneficiary, to the surviving spouse of such judge or special trial judge;
(iii) if none of the above, to the child or children of such judge or special trial judge and the descendants of any deceased children by representation;
(iv) if none of the above, to the parents of such judge or special trial judge or the survivor of them;
(v) if none of the above, to the duly appointed executor or administrator of the estate of such judge or special trial judge; and
(vi) if none of the above, to such other next of kin of such judge or special trial judge as may be determined by the chief judge to be entitled under the laws of the domicile of such judge or special trial judge at the time of his death.
Determination as to the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a judge or special trial judge for the purposes of this paragraph shall be made by the chief judge without regard to the definitions in paragraphs (8) and (9) of subsection (a).
(2) In any case in which the annuities of all persons entitled to annuity based upon the service of a judge or special trial judge shall terminate before the aggregate amount of annuity paid equals the total amount credited to the individual account of such judge or special trial judge, with interest at 3 percent per anspan, compounded on December 31 of each year, to the date of the death of such judge or special trial judge, the difference shall be paid, upon establishment of a valid claim therefor, in the order of precedence prescribed in paragraph (1).
(3) Any accrued annuity remaining unpaid upon the termination (other than by death) of the annuity of any person based upon the service of a judge or special trial judge shall be paid to such person. Any accrued annuity remaining unpaid upon the death of any person receiving annuity based upon the service of a judge or special trial judge shall be paid, upon the establishment of a valid claim therefor, in the following order of precedence:
(A) to the duly appointed executor or administrator of the estate of such person;
(B) if there is no such executor or administrator payment may be made, after the expiration of thirty days from the date of the death of such person, to such individual or individuals as may appear in the judgment of the chief judge to be legally entitled thereto, and such payment shall be a bar to recovery by any other individual.
(k) Payments to persons under legal disability

Where any payment under this section is to be made to a minor, or to a person mentally incompetent or under other legal disability adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction, such payment may be made to the person who is constituted guardian or other fiduciary by the law of the State of residence of such claimant or is otherwise legally vested with the care of the claimant or his estate. Where no guardian or other fiduciary of the person under legal disability has been appointed under the laws of the State of residence of the claimant, the chief judge shall determine the person who is otherwise legally vested with the care of the claimant or his estate.

(l) Method of payment of annuities

Annuities granted under the terms of this section shall accrue monthly and shall be due and payable in monthly installments on the first business day of the month following the month or other period for which the annuity shall have accrued. None of the moneys mentioned in this section shall be assignable, either in law or in equity, or subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process.

(m) Computation of annuitiesThe annuity of the surviving spouse of a judge or special trial judge electing under subsection (b) shall be an amount equal to the sum of—
(1) the product of—
(A) 1.5 percent of the average annual salary (whether judge’s or special trial judge’s salary or compensation for other allowable service) received by such judge or special trial judge—
(i) for judicial service (including periods in which he received retired pay under section 7447(d), section 7447A(d), or any annuity under chapter 83 or 84 of title 5, United States Code) or for any other prior allowable service during the period of 3 consecutive years in which such judge or special trial judge received the largest such average annual salary, or
(ii) in the case of a judge or special trial judge who has served less than 3 years, during the total period of such service prior to such judge’s or special trial judge’s death, multiplied by the sum of, multiplied by 1
1 So in original.
(B) the sum of—
(i) the judge’s or special trial judge’s years of such judicial service,
(ii) the judge’s or special trial judge’s years of prior allowable service as a Senator, Representative, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner in Congress,
(iii) the judge’s or special trial judge’s years of prior allowable service performed as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, and
(iv) the judge’s or special trial judge’s years, not exceeding 15, of prior allowable service performed as a congressional employee (as defined in section 2107 of title 5 of the United States Code), plus
(2) three-fourths of 1 percent of such average annual salary multiplied by the judge’s years of any other prior allowable service,
except that such annuity shall not exceed an amount equal to 50 percent of such average annual salary, nor be less than an amount equal to 25 percent of such average annual salary, and shall be further reduced in accordance with subsection (d) (if applicable). In determining the period of 3 consecutive years referred to in the preceding sentence, there may not be taken into account any period for which an election under section 7447(f)(4) is in effect.
(n) Includible service

Subject to the provisions of subsection (d), the years of service of a judge or special trial judge which are allowable as the basis for calculating the amount of the annuity of his surviving spouse shall include his years of service as a member of the United States Board of Tax Appeals, as a judge or special trial judge of the Tax Court of the United States, and as a judge or special trial judge of the Tax Court, his years of service pursuant to any appointment under section 7443A, his years of service as a Senator, Representative, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner in Congress, his years of active service as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States not exceeding 5 years in the aggregate and not including any such service for which credit is allowed for the purposes of retirement or retired pay under any other provision of law, and his years of any other civilian service within the purview of sections 8332 and 8411 of title 5 of the United States Code.

(o) Simultaneous entitlement

Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prevent a surviving spouse eligible therefor from simultaneously receiving an annuity under this section and any annuity to which such spouse would otherwise be entitled under any other law without regard to this section, but in computing such other annuity service used in the computation of such spouse’s annuity under this section shall not be credited.

(p) Estimates of expenditures

The chief judge shall submit to the President annual estimates of the expenditures and appropriations necessary for the maintenance and operation of the survivors annuity fund, and such supplemental and deficiency estimates as may be required from time to time for the same purposes, according to law. The chief judge shall cause periodic examinations of the survivors annuity fund to be made by an actuary, who may be an actuary employed by another department of the Government temporarily assigned for the purpose, and whose findings and recommendations shall be transmitted by the chief judge to the Tax Court.

(q) Transitional provision

In the case of a judge who dies within 6 months after the date of enactment of this section after having rendered at least 5 years of civilian service computed as prescribed in subsection (n), but without having made an election as provided in subsection (b), an annuity shall be paid to his surviving spouse and surviving dependents as is provided in this section, as if such judge had elected on the day of his death to bring himself within the purview of this section but had not made the deposit provided for by subsection (d). An annuity shall be payable under this section computed upon the basis of the actual length of service as a judge and other allowable service of the judge and subject to the reduction required by subsection (d) even though no deposit has been made, as required by subsection (h) with respect to any of such service.

(r) Waiver of civil service benefits

Any judge electing under subsection (b) shall, at the time of such election, waive all benefits under the civil service retirement laws. Such a waiver shall be made in the same manner and shall have the same force and effect as an election filed under section 7447(e).

(s) Increases in survivor annuities

Each time that an increase is made under section 8340(b) of title 5, United States Code, in annuities payable under subchapter III of chapter 83 of that title, each annuity payable from the survivors annuity fund under this section shall be increased at the same time by the same percentage by which annuities are increased under such section 8340(b).

(t) Authorization of appropriation

Funds necessary to carry out the provisions of this section may be appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated.

(u) Other benefits in case of assassination

In the case of a judge or special trial judge who is assassinated, an annuity shall be paid under this section notwithstanding a survivor’s eligibility for or receipt of benefits under chapter 81 of title 5, United States Code, except that the annuity for which a surviving spouse is eligible under this section shall be reduced to the extent that the total benefits paid under this section and chapter 81 of that title for any year would exceed the current salary for that year of the office of the judge or special trial judge.

(Added Pub. L. 87–370, § 1, Oct. 4, 1961, 75 Stat. 796; amended Pub. L. 91–172, title IX, §§ 955, 960(c), (e), Dec. 30, 1969, 83 Stat. 732, 734; Pub. L. 92–41, § 4(b), July 1, 1971, 85 Stat. 99; Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, § 1906(a)(46), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1830; Pub. L. 97–362, title I, § 105(a), (b), Oct. 25, 1982, 96 Stat. 1729; Pub. L. 98–216, § 3(c)(1), Feb. 14, 1984, 98 Stat. 6; Pub. L. 98–369, div. A, title IV, § 462(a), July 18, 1984, 98 Stat. 824; Pub. L. 99–514, title XV, §§ 1557(c), 1559(a)–(c), Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2757–2760; Pub. L. 109–280, title VIII, §§ 851(a), 854(a)–(c)(1), (3)–(7), Aug. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 1016–1018; Pub. L. 113–295, div. A, title II, § 221(a)(116), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 4054; Pub. L. 115–141, div. U, title IV, § 401(a)(327), (328), (b)(51)–(53), Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1200, 1205; Pub. L. 117–328, div. T, title VII, §§ 701(b), (c)(2), 702(b)(2), Dec. 29, 2022, 136 Stat. 5398, 5401, 5404.)