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Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Federal Tax Clinic

Loyola created the Federal Tax Clinic more than ten years ago to help taxpayer clients who otherwise might go without representation in dealing with matters concerning the Internal Revenue Service.

Clients come to the Federal Tax Clinic through referrals from private attorneys, the Bar Associations, social service agencies, previous clients and the IRS. The clinic's students take a teamwork approach, presenting the facts and identifying possible solutions. In examining possible outcomes, students come to understand and learn the basics of IRS practices and Federal Tax controversy procedures.

A typical problem might be that the IRS sent a low-income client a report disallowing the earned income tax credit. The client is frustrated because he does not understand the reason for the disallowance because the IRS report is written in a manner meant to cover all possible reasons for denying the credit, not just this client's case. The client is stressed because he has already received the tax refund and spent the money. In this type of case, the student analyzes the facts, identifies the specific issue, develops the evidence and submits the evidence to the IRS to prove that the client is entitled to the earned income tax credit and the tax refund.

Along with learning such practical matters as how to gather information to open a case file, how to deal with the IRS, and how to draft basic legal documents, students learn that helping clients does not always mean receiving a decision totally in the client's favor. Helping does, however, always mean identifying the problem, suggesting potential solutions and counseling the client about the pros and cons of each potential solution. As the tax clinic primarily is involved with issues common to the low income community, the student does not need to have any significant tax knowledge or experience beyond the basic income tax course. Past students have quickly gained the ability to handle our cases under the guidance of the Directors.

Professor Michael D. Novy is the director, and Professor Richard A. Witkowski is the assistant director of the Federal Tax Clinic.

Tax-Related Links:


Philip H. Corboy Law Center · 25 E. Pearson Street · Chicago, IL 60611 · 312.915.7120

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