Ronald M. Mankoff Tax Clinic – 7950
Fall 2013** Multi-semester course
Enrollment in the Tax Clinic provides an opportunity for law students to represent low income taxpayers who have a controversy with the IRS, and in some instances with the MN Department of Revenue. The cases generally involve audits of tax returns, filing and trying cases in Tax Court, and bringing taxpayers into collection compliance. Most of the cases are resolved through working with IRS and MNDOR, but each student also has an opportunity to work on at least on case in Tax Court. Clinic students do not generally prepare tax returns unless it is required to resolve the controversy. Students in the clinic are also required to participate in community education and outreach during the spring semester.
In addition to client representation and community outreach, clinic students participate in a clinic seminar. The clinic seminar provides training in clinic office procedures, lawyering skills and professional responsibility with an emphasis on those relevant to tax practice, and tax procedure and law relevant to representing low-income taxpayers. In addition, guest speakers from the IRS, MN Department of Revenue and practicing bar provide useful information about the practice of tax law.
The Earned Income Credit and refundable Child Tax credits are now the major form of public welfare benefits for low income workers. Many Legal Aid offices now have tax projects to work on these issues recognizing their importance to low income individuals. Students who would benefit from enrollment include: 1) those students who have an interest in tax practice (even if you only do planning work, it is helpful to understand the workings of the tax administration authority (i.e. IRS); 2) those students who are interested in pursuing a career in public interest law will benefit from enrollment in the Tax Clinic (see above); and 3) those students who have an interest in administrative and statutory law practice.