For Prospective Students
Through the Tax Clinic, students provide representation to income-eligible taxpayers who have post-filing controversies with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and/or the State of Virginia. In addition, students serve the broader public interest by undertaking advocacy projects to either: 1) educate the community on the tax issues that arise in our clinic; or 2) recommend administrative reforms on issues of concern to low-income taxpayers.
In the Tax Clinic practice, students represent clients before the IRS. Typical issues on our docket include representing a taxpayer who is under audit, appealing an audit or assessment, navigating collection disputes, and working with nonfilers to bring them into compliance. In certain cases where the taxpayer has not succeeded in resolving the problems with the IRS, the clinic can pursue litigation in the U.S. Tax Court. Unlike the separate Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, the Tax Clinic does not engage in routine current year tax return preparation.
The Tax Clinic includes a weekly seminar including instruction in tax controversy procedure, client interviewing and other practice skills, ethics of tax practice, and selected tax policy topics of relevance to low-income taxpayers. Students are responsible for all aspects of their projects and their controversy cases—from initial client interviews and intake, to case planning and research, to representation before the IRS or U.S. Tax Court. Students also meet weekly with the Clinic's Director to discuss their cases and projects.
The Tax Clinic is open to 3Ls who have completed the Federal Income Taxation of Individuals course prior to the semester that the student enrolls in the clinic. Students will receive special orders to practice before the IRS and U.S. Tax Court; therefore, applicants need not be third-year practice certified. The Tax Clinic is a five-credit per semester clinic and you may apply for either one semester or two semesters.
If you have questions about enrolling in the Tax Clinic, please contact the Director at email@example.com.