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IRS Matching Grant Helps W&L Tax Clinic Serve Low-income Taxpayers

The Tax Clinic at the Washington and Lee University School of Law has been awarded a matching grant from the Internal Revenue Service’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic program (LITC). This is the eighth straight year that the Tax Clinic has received federal dollars to support its efforts.

The grant of $75,000 will help fund the Clinic for the 2015 calendar year.

“I am so pleased that we are able to continue providing these important services as part of the LITC program,” said Michelle Drumbl, associate clinical professor of law and director of the Tax Clinic.  “Our Tax Clinic serves an important population and provides an excellent opportunity for our students to provide pro bono services to taxpayers who need a voice before the Internal Revenue Service. “

Law students working in the Tax Clinic provide free legal representation to low-income taxpayers in resolving their controversies with the Internal Revenue Service. The Clinic students assist taxpayers with audits and a wide array of collections issues. The Clinic also represents taxpayers in tax cases before the U.S. Tax Court and in refund suits in federal district court.

The Tax Clinic serves the entire state of Virginia. At least 90% of the clients represented by the clinic are “low-income”, meaning their incomes do not exceed 250% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines published annually by the Department of Health and Human Services. For example, a family of four making less than $60,625 per year is eligible to use the Tax Clinic’s services.

The IRS Low Income Taxpayer (LITC) grant program is administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, which operates independently of any other IRS office and reports directly to Congress through the National Taxpayer Advocate.  Likewise, clinics funded by the grant program remain completely independent of and are not associated with the federal government. The LITC grant program was created as part of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.