Your 1st Week

Orient Yourself

The first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the clinic office, the equipment and procedures.   Learn how to print on letterhead and how to send mail to the IRS. The GRA’s or administrative coordinator will assist you with these office procedures.

Obtain Power of Attorney for each client

  • If a POA signed by the client, but not signed by a student attorney, is in the client’s file, sign it, submit the signed copy to Mr. Timm for his original signature, then fax it to the CAF unit of the IRS. Be sure to include with each POA faxed copies of the letter from the IRS, with attachments from the clinic, authorizing law students currently enrolled in the clinic to practice before the IRS. The clinic letter will include an attachment identifying each currently enrolled student. There are fax cover sheets to the CAF Unit already prepared and located beside the fax machine in the office of the Administrative Secretary.
  • If there is not a blank POA signed by the client in the client’s file you will have to send a blank copy for signature to the client ASAP with your introductory letter (next step).

Make Initial Contact with the Client

  • Call each client to introduce yourself and let the client know that you will be handling his or her case.  Don’t address substantive issues, you won’t be familiar with the issues yet.  For new clients: refer to the New Client Procedures page to set up an initial interview with the client.
  • If you do not reach the client by phone, send an introductory letter, a form for which is located on the clinic’s I-drive. Include a POA for client signature if there isn’t one in the file.

Determine Status of each case:

  • Review the information contained in the client’s file and in the Amicus summary, paying particular attention to any previous student memos and IRS correspondence.
  • Identify and enter on your Amicus calendar any critical response dates.
  • Print a copy of the Tax Clinic Decision Tree for each client, identify the current stage of the client’s situation, and include the Decision Tree in the client’s folder.
  • Determine the most likely method to resolve the case:  Offer in Compromise, Audit Reconsideration (which goes to Appeals for possible settlement) or Tax Court (which also goes to Appeals for possible settlement immediately after filing a petition).
  • Go to the website to review each of these methods of resolution. Keep in mind that Offers in Compromise are usually based on doubt as to collectability. The taxpayer seldom argues he doesn’t owe the tax. In Audit Reconsiderations and Tax Court cases, the taxpayer is making an argument based on the tax law that he does not owe the tax.