Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Highlights
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) saw a variety of taxpayers with an interesting array of issues. The overwhelming majority of taxpayers served at the clinic are very low income yet have substantial tax debt, often involving multiple tax years. Due to their low income status and the growing penalties and interest that accrue on outstanding tax debt, many taxpayers are left unable to meet their basic living expenses.
The student attorneys who participated in the Spring 2007 LITC carried an average of five (5) cases during the semester and included:
Jimmy Davis assisted an African father with special needs children who was experiencing hardship due to a tax levy. After guiding the taxpayer through various forms and required documentation, Jimmy was able to have the levy lifted.
Jenna Karr handled a case where the taxpayer had inherited their parent's retirement savings. This had substantial tax consequences, especially when combined with various years of non-filing and under-withholding issues. Jenna helped the taxpayer understand the issues and advised the taxpayer of rights and responsibilities under the tax code.
Yesenia Polanco-Galdamez was essential in outreach work performed by the LITC in the local Spanish-speaking community. As a native Spanish-speaker, Yesenia assisted taxpayers in understanding the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number and helped her fellow student attorneys handle Spanish-language phone inquiries, and walk-in clients.
Craig Batchelor assisted a young family with multiple tax issues, including a wage garnishment. Craig was able to successfully collect and submit a multitude of documents to the IRS in order to have the wage garnishment lifted. Craig also had a stolen identity case with several active tax years that including the filing of a tax court petition and a request for a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing.
Amanda Dunlap helped a client to find a bankruptcy attorney when the client had both large tax and consumer debt that was dischargeable in bankruptcy. She also assisted an elderly client with extensive tax issues dating back to the mid-80s.
Charles Jeane assisted a taxpayer in filing an innocent spouse claim. When the taxpayer's claim was denied, Charles moved the case to the next level: Appeals. Charles also anticipated and prepared the case for litigation in U.S. Tax Court.
Sarah Snik handled a case for an immigrant taxpayer who had won a legal settlement through the UDC-DCSL Housing Clinic. Sarah assisted the client in dealing with some of the resulting tax issues.
Scott Peary helped a taxpayer, who had settled a large dispute with the IRS through the LITC in a prior semester, address the separate and substantial state tax issues that remained.