Tax Clinic

Director: Patrick W. Thomas

Interested Current Students, Click Here

Are you a prospective client? 
Call the clinic's intake line at (574)-631-3272.

Who We Are

Teachers & Learners

The Notre Dame Tax Clinic is a federally funded Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) that represents low income clients in controversies with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and educates individuals about their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers.

The Notre Dame Tax Clinic’s mission is to provide effective learning opportunities for law students in the basic skills of law practice by striving to serve the unmet legal needs of the poor and under-represented.  In fulfillment of this mission, Notre Dame law students, under the supervision of a licensed attorney, provide free legal representation and consultations for individuals with federal tax problems, including taxpayers who speak English as a second language.

The Tax Clinic provides an important community service through providing free representation in tax disputes to individuals who are otherwise unable to afford a lawyer.

What We Do

Advocacy, Advice, & Outreach

Our Tax Clinic serves the community by providing free legal assistance to taxpayers involved in disputes with the IRS.  Our Tax Clinic may also represent clients in Indiana state tax controversies if they are directly related to federal tax controversies, including:

  • Audits/ Exams, including Earned Income Tax Credit audits
  • Appeals
  • Collection Issues & Federal Tax Liens
  • Innocent Spouse Relief
  • Tax-Related Identity Theft
  • Tax Return Preparer Fraud
  • Worker Misclassification
  • Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Filing Status Disputes
  • U.S. Tax Court Litigation

We also aspire to assist in providing individuals with a pathway for greater understanding of their rights and obligations as taxpayers. To that end, we work with community partners to offer workshops and seminars on a number of different income tax topics. Additionally, informational workshops can be tailored to meet the greatest needs of your taxpayer audience, including taxpayers who speak English as a second language. If your organization is interested in a presentation on a tax issue, please contact Professor Patrick Thomas.

Please note: Although the Tax Clinic receives funding from the IRS, the clinic and its employees and volunteers are not affiliated with the IRS. A taxpayer's decision to seek assistance from the clinic will not affect the taxpayer's rights before the IRS.

Who We Represent

Low income taxpayers & ESL taxpayers

Our Tax Clinic is located in South Bend, Indiana, and serves clients throughout the State of Indiana, as well as clients located outside of the state. Although the Tax Clinic’s services are provided free of charge, we are generally limited to representing clients whose income does not exceed 250% of the annual Federal Poverty Guidelines. However, we may be able to accept clients outside these limits in certain circumstances. We also strive to assist low income taxpayers whose primary language is not English.

How to Apply

Call or Apply Online (coming soon!)

Individuals may apply by phone by contacting our Tax Clinic Intake Line at (574) 631-3272, or by completing and submitting an online form, which will be linked here in the near future.

Helpful Links

For further assistance please visit the following websites:

For Current Notre Dame Law Students

Looking for real experience as a lawyer? We would love for you to join our team!

“Clinical education today creates opportunities for law students to recognize the injustices in society and in the legal system, to appreciate the role they can play in challenging social injustice and in reforming the legal system, to make society and the legal system more just, and to inspire them to do just that. “  Jane H. Aiken & Stephen Wizner, Teaching and Doing: The Role of Law School Clinics in Enhancing Access to Justice, 73 Fordham L. Rev. 997-1011 (2004)

The clinic experience offers you real experience.  

The Tax Clinic offers you an opportunity like none other you will find in law school. As a student intern, you will acquire practical legal skills through hands on experience such as: interviewing and counseling clients; gathering and analyzing facts and evidence; conducting legal research; drafting memoranda; and preparing pleadings, motions and other court documents.  Additional opportunities include representing clients before the U.S. Tax Court and working with IRS attorneys to negotiate settlements.

Furthermore, as a student intern you are providing an invaluable service to our local community and beyond. By serving the unmet legal needs of low-income individuals, student interns become active participants in their work toward a more just legal system. 
 
No prior experience needed. Students do not need to have extensive experience with tax law to enroll and succeed in this clinic. Through seminar and supervision, you will be given the tools necessary to advocate on behalf of your clients. 
 
Course Offerings/Requirements:

Tax Clinic (EXP) (75605) - 5 credit hours
Students in the Tax Clinic represent low income clients in controversies with the Internal Revenue Service and in litigation in the United States Tax Court and possibly other federal courts. The clinic is located in the Clinical Law Center at 725 Howard Street. Students play a "first chair" role interviewing and counseling clients, conducting factual investigations, determining alternatives for resolving disputes, advocating on the client's behalf, and negotiating agreements with the IRS. Students may also participate in community outreach and education on taxpayer issues. The classroom portion of the course covers tax procedure and relevant substantive law along with basic lawyering skills necessary to effective representation of taxpayers. Corequisites: Federal Income Taxation (70605) and Professional Responsibility (70807 or 70808).

Tax Clinic II (75606) -  Variable credit hours
Variable credit and letter-graded course open to students who have satisfactorily completed Tax Clinic I. Tax Clinic II allows students to progress to more advanced lawyering skills as applied to federal tax controversies. Enrollment is by permission of the instructor.