About the Tax Clinic

The Tax Clinic began operation in September of 2000. In May 2008, Professor Vaughn E. James assumed the responsibilities of the Clinic Director. The tax clinic is funded by a matching grant from the Internal Revenue Service and it provides legal help to taxpayers with incomes equal to or less than 250% of the federal poverty level in disputes with the IRS.

Background

The Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic was formed in April 2000 and began operation in September 2000 to provide professional skills training to law students and to provide law students the opportunity to gain practical experience in administrative proceedings before the Internal Revenue Service and in judicial proceedings before the United States Tax Court. The clinic serves residents in the West Texas Panhandle area of Texas and Eastern New Mexico by offering representation to taxpayers who are unable to obtain professional tax counsel.

Students develop important lawyering skills by interviewing and counseling clients, conducting factual investigations, legal research and analysis, negotiating compromises, drafting documents and litigating. Students are responsible for their own caseloads but are closely supervised by the clinic director, Professor Vaughn James, and Clinic Fellow, Meredith J. Nieto. The director of the clinic assists the students in all phases of their clinical education.

Students represent low-income taxpayers in resolving controversies with the Internal Revenue Service. Representation will include securing the release of notices of levy and withdrawal or subordination of liens, obtaining payment agreements for delinquent taxes, preparing and filing offers in compromise, preparing and filing requests for relief as an innocent spouse, representation before the appeals division of the Internal Revenue Service, and a limited amount of representation in the United States Tax Court.