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How To Get Tax Help

Contact the Tax Clinic for help if you are a taxpayer residing in Michigan and you meet the following requirements.

1.You have a federal tax controversy.

The Tax Clinic handles all aspects of controversy with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including assisting clients with tax collection problems, liens and levies, offers in compromise, innocent spouse claims, collections due process hearings, and appeals conferences. In addition, the Clinic represents taxpayers in cases before the United States Tax Court, the United States District Court and federal appellate courts. Please note that the Tax Clinic does not generally provide tax return preparation services.

2. You satisfy the Tax Clinic's income guidelines.

The income guidelines dictate that in the current year your income cannot exceed 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, as shown in the following table. (Exception: 10% of the taxpayers we represent may have income that exceeds 250% of the federal poverty guidelines.)

Income Limits to Qualify for Representation*
Size of Family Unit 2015 Income Ceiling (250% of Federal Poverty Guidelines)*
1 $29,425
2 $39,825
3 $50,225
4 $60,625
5 $71,025
6 $81,425
7 $91,800
8 $102,225

*For each family member in excess of 8 members, add $10,400 for each additional member. (Source of base poverty levels is the Federal Register Notice.)

3. The amount of tax in controversy for any taxable year generally should not exceed $50,000 (interest is not included in the $50,000 figure unless it is separately disputed).

4. Note that if you have a federal tax controversy the Tax Clinic can also assist with a state or local tax matter.

If you believe that you meet these requirements, please schedule an appointment with a student tax clinician by calling the Tax Clinic at 517-336-8088, option 4, or by visiting the Tax Clinic during normal business hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Please bring the following documents to your first meeting:

  • Photo identification card and social security card
  • All letters and correspondence you have received from the IRS, the Michigan Department of Treasury, or the local taxing authority
  • Tax returns for the years in question (if they have been filed), including source documents

You can expect that your first meeting will take place with one or more student tax clinicians. The student tax clinician you first meet with may not be the clinician ultimately assigned to your case. Please be prepared to discuss your tax concerns as extensively as possible at the first meeting. At or after the first meeting, a decision will be made about whether you can retain the Tax Clinic to represent you. A retention decision will be formalized by a written retainer agreement which the student tax clinician will review with you, and which both you and the Tax Clinic representative will sign. You are not a Tax Clinic client until both you and the Tax Clinic enter into a valid retainer agreement.

Once the Tax Clinic formally undertakes representation relative to your tax matter, you can expect the following:

  • The Tax Clinic will maintain strict client confidentiality.
  • The Tax Clinic will advocate for you to obtain the best resolution possible of your tax matter
  • The Tax Clinic will abide by the Rules of Michigan Professional Responsibility
  • Student tax clinicians assigned to your matter will treat you with the utmost professional courtesy

Please know that we aim to cultivate candor in any properly established attorney/client relationship.

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