Law School Tax Clinic Receives IRS Grant

Lexington, VA Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Tax Clinic at the Washington and Lee University School of Law has been awarded a matching grant from the Internal Revenue Service's Low Income Taxpayer Clinic program. This is the second straight year that the Tax Clinic has received federal dollars to support its efforts.

Read more about the work of the Tax Clinic.

The grant of just over $48,000 will help fund the clinic for the 2009 calendar year, offsetting a substantial portion of clinic's operating costs.

"Renewal at this funding level indicates that the LITC program believes our Tax Clinic had a successful start-up year in 2008 and will continue to thrive," said Michelle Drumbl, assistant clinical professor of law and director of the Tax Clinic. 

Students in the Tax Clinic, which began operations in spring 2008, provide free legal representation to low-income taxpayers in resolving their controversies with the Internal Revenue Service. Students also present educational outreach to individuals who speak English as a second language on their rights and responsibilities as U.S. taxpayers.

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. Working with the University's English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program and bilingual student volunteers, the Clinic provides assistance as necessary in Spanish. 

The Clinic's service area includes much of the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia, including the cities of Lexington, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Charlottesville, and Lynchburg. Visit the Tax Clinic website for a complete listing of areas served and client qualifications.

The IRS Low Income Taxpayer (LITC) grant program is administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, 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.

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