Students in the Federal Tax Clinic represent low-income taxpayers in controversies with the IRS, both before the IRS and in federal court. Students will 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 will represent taxpayers with the goal of maximizing financial wellbeing 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.
The Clinic provides a singular opportunity to have extensive client contact, to conduct fact investigation and legal research, and to develop, present, and argue cases on behalf of vulnerable taxpayers who would otherwise not have access to justice. 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.
In addition to representing local clients, the Clinic looks to comment on proposed rules and regulations impacting low income taxpayers, and it looks to litigate broadly on issues impacting this community. The Clinic is currently litigating whether the Tax Court has the ability to equitably toll the time frame for filing a Tax Court petition. It represents clients in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 10th Circuits that the Tax Court dismissed as untimely despite the fact that the taxpayers filed late based upon oral and written statements made by the IRS regarding the last day to file. The Clinic has also filed amicus briefs on this issue with the Tax Court and the 9th Circuit and amicus briefs on other issues as well.
How to Register
The Federal Tax Clinic is offered in the Fall and Spring semester. You can learn about the required clinical course component, clinical credits, additional requirements, and the clinical registration process, by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.
In the News
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Reflection on the Federal Tax ClinicContinue Reading about Reflection on the Federal Tax Clinic
My two semesters at the Federal Tax Clinic have been a humbling experience. Unlike my clients, who hover around the poverty line and have incurred significant tax liabilities relative to their income, financial security is never truly a pressing concern in my day-to-day life. An equally humbling realization is just how powerless I can be as a student attorney.
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Clinic student advocates for low income taxpayersContinue Reading about Clinic student advocates for low income taxpayers
Each week, I learned about the different types of relief available to taxpayers by filling out the forms and petitions that low income taxpayers would have to fill out themselves in order to obtain relief – and concurrently realized how difficult relief is to obtain without representation.
Faculty and Staff
Federal Tax Clinic
WilmerHale Legal Services Center
122 Boylston Street
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
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