Alvin L. Storrs
Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic
We provide important tax-related legal services to low-income Michigan taxpayers. The Tax Clinic handles all aspects of controversy with the IRS. It assists clients with tax collection problems; liens and levies; offers in compromise; innocent spouse claims; claims relating to deductions, exemptions, and credits; collection due process hearings; and appeals conferences.
In addition, we represent taxpayers in cases before the United States Tax Court, the United States District Court, and federal appeals courts.
“I had about 12-13 clients, and had different responsibilities for each client. Each of these clients had different problems that needed solving, and I was the sole person in charge of these clients. Whether it was completing a tax return, or trying to erase a client's tax debt, I had responsibility over these clients, with the professors helping me when needed. I communicated with my clients directly, and called the IRS to argue on their behalf.”
- Khizer Pervez, ‘16
The Tax Clinic extends learning beyond the classroom while benefiting the community. Second and third-year law students represent clients under the supervision of clinical faculty, all of whom are members of the State Bar of Michigan with experience in tax law.
Our students receive instruction on the intricacies of substantive tax law and IRS practice and procedure. They apply this knowledge to resolve clients' tax matters with diligence, excellence, and efficiency. We cultivate a strong sense of responsibility to serve the needs of others. Students also learn how to work in a law firm environment with a significant case load and tight deadlines.
We also educate non-native English speaking taxpayers about tax matters by participating in community outreach programs about a wide array of tax issues.
Tax Law Clinic students will:
- Learn the intricacies of the Internal Revenue Code
- Communicate directly with the IRS on behalf of clients
- Represent indigent taxpayers
- Educate community members about tax law
- Work with ESL taxpayers
While we evaluate students on their understanding and application of tax law and IRS procedures, we also coach students on case organization and management, professional communication with clients and third parties, public speaking, advocacy, and writing. We have impromptu discussions throughout the day about cases as clients’ circumstances change. But we also discuss job stress, professionalism, ethics, and career development.
We provide no-cost legal services to low-income taxpayers who are in controversy with the Internal Revenue Service. Our students and faculty also offer educational services relating to tax matters to people who are non-native English speakers.
Hearing the relief in clients' voices when you tell them that you got a huge tax debt wiped out for them or that the collections notices will stop and they're getting money back from the IRS is one of the most satisfying feelings I've experienced.