Ronald M. Mankoff Tax Clinic – 7950
Enrollment in the Tax Clinic provides an opportunity for law students to represent low income taxpayers who have a tax controversy. Tax Clinic cases generally involve audits of tax returns, filing and trying cases in Tax Court, and bringing taxpayers into collection compliance. 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 during the fall semester. 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 interested in Legal Aid practice should consider the Tax Clinic.
Students who would benefit from enrollment include: 1) students who have an interest in tax, business or bankruptcy practice who will find it helpful to understand the workings of the tax administration authority (i.e. IRS/MNDOR); 2) students who are interested in pursuing a career in public interest law (see above); 3) students who have an interest in administrative and statutory law practice; 4) students who have an interest in assisting immigrants meet the tax requirements for citizenship; and 5) students who just want to make a difference in the lives of poor, immigrant or disabled individuals.