Federal Tax Clinic Eligibility Guidelines
The Clinic has always imposed certain requirements which potential taxpayers must meet before they can be accepted as clients. In 1999, the Clinic applied to the IRS for (and did in fact receive) a grant; the Clinic modified its own guidelines to accept the IRS "income level" and "amount in controversy" guidelines. There are currently five requirements for taxpayers to satisfy to become accepted as clients of the Clinic.
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2011 HHS Poverty Guidelines
(48 Contiguous States and D.C.)
|Persons in Household||Poverty Guideline|
|For each additional person, add $3,820.|
The guideline is 250% of the poverty level. The current poverty level is available here.
Amount in Controversy
In addition to the income requirement, the Clinic also requires the amount in controversy to be reasonable. Generally, the Clinic requires that the amount in controversy not exceed $10,000 per taxable year. However, if the taxpayer meets the income requirement, then the amount in controversy requirement can be waived provided that the remaining qualifications are met (most generally that the case is not too complex). However, in no case will the Clinic accept a case in which the amount in controversy for any taxable year exceeds $50,000.
The Clinic focuses its assistance on individuals (not partnerships or corporations) with federal income tax issues. Assistance is offered to individuals with cases before the Internal Revenue Service and those who have filed a petition with the U.S. Tax Court or who expect to do so.
The Clinic is not authorized to represent taxpayers before state or local tax authorities. The Clinic also refuses cases involving criminal tax proceedings and does not prepare original tax returns. The Clinic may prepare amended tax returns in those cases where appropriate to resolve the controversy.
The Clinic does not impose geographic limitations on taxpayers. However, the taxpayer must be able to travel to the Clinic for interviews, negotiations, administrative proceedings, and court appearances.
The taxpayer's case must be capable of resolution by the student representative and not be so complex that the student will be unable to resolve the taxpayer's tax matter.