The Tax Clinic at the Washington and Lee University School of Law has been awarded a multi-year matching grant from the Internal Revenue Service's Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic program (LITC).
This year's grant of $70,000, the largest in the Clinic's history, will help fund the Clinic for the 2013 calendar year. This is the sixth straight year that the Tax Clinic has received federal dollars to support its efforts.
"We are grateful for the continued support of the LITC grant program," said Michelle Drumbl, associate clinical professor of law and director of the Tax Clinic. "Our clinic students enjoy the opportunity to advocate for their clients while learning tax procedure and preparing to enter the legal profession."
Law students working in the Tax Clinic provide free legal representation to low-income taxpayers in resolving their controversies with the Internal Revenue Service. The Clinic is not involved in routine tax preparation, but the students do help with audits and a wide array of collections issues.
The Tax Clinic serves the entire state of Virginia. At least 90% of the clients represented by the clinic are "low-income", meaning their incomes do not exceed 250% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines published annually by the Department of Health and Human Services. For example, a family of four making less than $58,875 per year is eligible to use the Tax Clinic's services.
The LITC grant program is administered by the Taxpayer Advocate Service, which operates independently of any other IRS office and reports directly to Congress through the National Taxpayer Advocate. Likewise, clinics funded by the grant program remain completely independent of and are not associated with the federal government. The LITC grant program was created as part of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.