Clinic Students Write Briefs and Argue Tax Case Before U.S. Court of Appeals
DECEMBER 6, 2013—Tax clinic student attorneys Aalok Sharma (’13) and Sam Kouri (’14) wrote briefs for an Eighth Circuit appeal involving a claim for a dependency exemption that was denied.
The U.S. Tax Court denied the exemption because the divorce decree granting the decision had a condition in it that stated the taxpayer must be current in his child support payments. Although the client proved he was current in his payments, the IRS and the Tax Court maintained that only unconditional divorce agreements would be accepted.
On Oct. 24, Sharma, now an associate at Winthrop & Weinstine, argued before the Eighth Circuit in St. Paul, and the clinic is awaiting the court's decision.
Professor Kathryn J. Sedo served as the student attorneys' faculty advisor in the Ronald M. Mankoff Tax Clinic. First offered in 1981, the Tax Clinic provides an opportunity for law students to represent low-income taxpayers who have a controversy with the IRS. Representation can occur at audit, in the Appeals Office, in the collection process, before the U.S. Tax Court, or before the U.S. District Court or Eighth Circuit. Representation may also extend to controversies with the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Clinic students do not prepare tax returns. The clinic receives client referrals from the IRS and Tax Court in addition to those that come from community organizations.