Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic

Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic

What is the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic?

Who We Serve…

We serve low income taxpayers who have problems or disputes with the IRS, including those for whom English is a second language. We help taxpayers who do not already have legal representation and cannot afford to pay for tax assistance. In determining eligibility, we will consider household income and other factors.

We will not handle cases if more than $50,000 is in dispute for a tax year. After you call or visit, a staff member may arrange for an interview or we may find a volunteer attorney to represent you.

Other Assistance We Provide

  •  Speak to groups or social service agencies about tax issues.
  •  Educate tax payers about tax law.
  •  Outreach to English Language Learners about tax issues.
  •  Prepare and distribute pamphlet about taxpayer rights and responsibilities.
  •  Work with and train volunteer attorneys and law students who may provide tax assistance to clients.

We never charge a fee for our services. However, you may have to pay court costs and filing fees.

We are independent from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Utah State Tax Commission. What you tell Low Income Taxpayer Clinic lawyers is confidential and protected by the attorney-client privilege. Even if you don’t qualify for help from the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, the information you tell us is confidential.

Most low income taxpayers are honest and want to comply with the federal and state tax laws. Some tax laws change each year, and some tax laws are hard to understand. If you have a problem with the IRS, you might need legal help.


Types of Cases We Handle

  • Innocent Spouse Relief Requests
    Have you received a bill from the IRS for taxes from a joint tax return?
    Do you believe it would be unfair to hold you responsible for these taxes?
    Depending on your circumstances, your knowledge of the debt and other factors, such as spousal abuse, you may qualify for relief as an innocent spouse.

    We can help you apply for innocent spouse relief and can represent you if the IRS denies your request.
  • Injured Spouse Claims
    Have your tax refunds been taken to pay your spouse’s defaulted student loan, outstanding child support or prior tax debts?
    If so, and if your joint tax return shows you had income and made tax payments (tax withholdings or refundable credits), you may be entitled to request your portion of the refund. We can help you file an injured spouse claim.
  • Audits or Examinations
    Have you received a letter from the IRS telling you that your tax return is being audited or examined?
    The letter may state that the IRS is reviewing your filing status, income, deductions or credits. We can help you gather the proof requested, meet with IRS employees on your behalf and otherwise represent you during the audit.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit Appeals
    The IRS audits many returns of taxpayers who claim the earned income tax credit (EITC).
    Have you received a letter from the IRS denying your EITC?
    If the IRS determines that you should not have claimed the EITC and doing so was reckless or intentional, you cannot claim the EITC for the next two years. If the IRS finds that your actions were fraudulent, you cannot claim the EITC for the next ten years. We can help you appeal the EITC denial and protect your right to claim the EITC in the future.

Educating Students

One of the missions of the clinic is to assist law students bridge the gap between the substantive knowledge gained in traditional doctrinal law school courses and the practical knowledge needed to effectively perform as legal professionals. The clinic helps students develop their professional judgment so as “to promote justice and public good.” It accomplishes this mission by giving students practical experience in resolving taxpayer disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and exposure to professional and ethical issues.

Students handle all aspects of controversies with the IRS, including interviewing clients, drafting briefs, preparing cases for appeals conferences, appearing at the conferences, preparing offers-in-compromise, filing petitions with the United States Tax Court, negotiating settlements with the IRS and occasionally appearing before the Tax Court.

These skills are highly transferable to both large firm and solo practices.


Nondiscrimination & Accessibility Statement

The University of Utah does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, status as a disabled individual, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, genetic information or protected veteran’s status, in employment, treatment, admission, access to educational programs and activities, or other University benefits or services.

Additionally, the University endeavors to provide reasonable accommodations and to ensure equal access to qualified persons with disabilities.  Inquiries concerning perceived discrimination or requests for disability accommodations may be referred to the University’s Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator:

Director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
201 South Presidents Circle, Rm.135
Salt Lake City, UT, 84112
801-581-8365 (voice/tdd)
801-585-5746 (fax)
www.oeo.utah.edu.