Tax Litigation Clinic

Learning Opportunities

Through the Tax Litigation Clinic, students represent low-income taxpayers in controversies with the IRS, both before the IRS and in federal court. Students work individually and in teams to represent taxpayers involving examinations, administrative appeals, collection matters and cases before the United States Tax Court and Federal District Courts.  Students represent taxpayers with the goal of maximizing financial well-being and protecting taxpayer rights, including securing refunds and credits to which taxpayers are entitled, providing relief from joint and several liability for innocent spouses, and reducing tax liabilities through successful negotiated resolutions or compromises of liabilities based upon taxpayer financial hardship. Because the clinic teaches lawyering skills applicable across numerous practice areas, students are encouraged to enroll whether they have an existing interest in tax law and practice or simply seek an immersive law practice experience through which they can learn valuable skills and provide pro bono representation to those in need.

Clinic students should concurrently enroll in the Tax Litigation Clinic Seminar.  In the Seminar students learn the substantive law, procedural context, advocacy skills, and ethical rules necessary for the effective representation of low-income taxpayers before the IRS and in federal court.  The seminar covers an array of topics, including tax practice and procedure at the agency level and in federal court, administrative law, client interviewing, fact investigation, offers in compromise, negotiation, refund litigation, audit reconsideration, innocent spouse defenses, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and evidentiary hearings.  The seminar also considers, through the lens of students’ clinical experiences, systemic questions about tax policy, anti-poverty policy, and access to justice for low-income taxpayers.

Learn More

Read more about the Tax Clinic and its founding here.

In addition, as this Clinic is part of the Legal Services Center (LSC), you are encouraged to visit LSC’s Clinical Student FAQs page.  There you will find helpful information about all manner of topics relevant to students, including the travel subsidy LSC provides to students and the shuttle van LSC operates for students.

What Students Are Saying About Their Experiences in the Clinic

If you’re looking for a clinic where you know you’re going to get quite a bit of hands-on work, I absolutely recommend the Tax Litigation Clinic, even if you haven’t taken any tax courses. Audrey [Patten] is an incredible supervisor, she’s very knowledgeable about these issues. I always feel like there’s a safety net to catch me in the clinic.”

“Madison Wulf Elbich ’24 Helps Craft Amicus Brief Urging Sixth Circuit Court to Overturn Decision that Harms Low-Income Taxpayers”

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive news from LSC