The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) provides free legal representation to qualifying taxpayers who have federal tax controversies. Students and attorney volunteers, working under the supervision of the Professor Matthew T. James, represent low income taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Tax Court in audits, appeals, collections and federal tax litigation.
Students enrolled in the clinic benefit from class instruction (2 credits, graded) during which they learn substantive and procedural tax law, case management, and lawyering skills. Students also give presentations to community groups and nonprofit organizations to help taxpayers know their rights and responsibilities. Additionally, students may have an opportunity to participate in special projects such as filing amicus briefs or submitting comments on proposed regulation or other administrative guidance.
During the clinic portion of the course (2 credits, pass/fail), students serve as the primary advocates for their clients and have direct responsibility for their cases. Case work includes extensive client contact. Students will conduct factual investigations and research legal issues to develop, present, and argue cases on behalf of vulnerable taxpayers who would otherwise not have access to justice. The clinic experience teaches lawyering skills applicable across numerous practice areas. Student are encouraged to enroll whether they have an existing interest in tax or simply seek an immersive law practice experience. LITC students play a crucial role in ensuring a fair tax system for low income individuals and those with limited English proficiency who speak English as a second language. Students’ work is impactful and sometimes life changing.
The LITC is currently in its startup phase and is NOT accepting clients at this time.
Client eligibility depends on the individual’s financial situation, the tax controversy’s elements, and the clinic’s workload. Clinic professionals decide what cases the clinic can accept, upon recommendation by the student attorney. Although Temple receives funding from the IRS to help with the costs of the Clinic, the Clinic, its employees, and its volunteers are not affiliated with or endorsed by the IRS or its employees. A taxpayer’s decision to obtain representation from the Clinic will not result in the IRS giving preferential treatment in handling the dispute or problem and will not diminish the taxpayer’s rights before the IRS.