Types of Cases
Case assignments are made by the clinic director or the associate director. The clinic does not handle state tax issues. The clinic only handles tax controversies involving civil federal income or employment taxes. The cases coming to the clinic usually fall into in one of the following five types:
This 30-day letter follows an audit by an IRS agent. It asks the taxpayer to either sign and return an agreement to the examiner’s findings or request a conference with an appeals officer. The request for a conference must be submitted within a 30-day period. Normally, a “Protest” will be filed to request an appeals conference. Other 30-day letters impose statutory deadlines. These letters are issued under Sections 6320 and 6330 and they follow the assessment of tax. These letters permit a taxpayer to request a hearing to appeal a lien or levy. If an appeal is denied, a taxpayer is then given 30 days to petition the Tax Court.
Many individuals who contact the Tax Clinic have not only significant tax problems, but also other legal or personal problems. These other problems may relate to unemployment, substance abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse, illiteracy, medical and emotional issues. You should be alert to the presence of these problems.
You should respect the client’s privacy and be cautious to avoid offending the client by questioning him about suspected problems. However, you should be prepared to refer your client to an appropriate service agency if the client requests assistance with non-tax problems.
The clinic maintains a list of agencies that are available to meet the special needs of Atlanta area residents. You should provide your client in writing with the name and telephone number of an appropriate agency that specializes in the applicable need, and you must disclaim any affiliation with the agency and refrain from guaranteeing results. If a referral is made, you should write a memo to the client’s case file describing the circumstances surrounding the referral. The clinic director or the associate director should be consulted before a referral is made if you have any doubt about the advisability of the action. Otherwise, one of the clinic directors should be immediately advised of your referral.
During subsequent conversations with the client, you should avoid questioning him or her about the outcome of the referral.