Taking on the IRS can be intimidating, but the taxpayers with cases in front of the United States Tax Court Calendar Session in Anchorage, Alaska this June will have some help from two Gonzaga Law Students. The Gonzaga University School of Law Federal Tax Clinic will be sending Brittany Larson and Sarah Cuellar, along with supervising attorney Jennifer Gellner to Anchorage, Alaska the third week of June.
Assisting Taxpayers with IRS conflicts
Students in the Gonzaga Tax Clinic take on cases from low income individuals, representing those individuals against the IRS. Students in the clinic also provide community outreach and education to taxpayers, especially those with limited English skills. In 2011, the Tax Clinic directly assisted over 300 mostly Spokane-area taxpayers with questions or conflicts with the IRS. Earlier this year, The Gonzaga Tax Clinic was awarded a $2,000 grant by the Washington State Bar Association Taxation Section in support of this outreach and service to the public, a 33 percent increase in the grant amount over last year.
Filling the Gap in Alaska
The United States Tax Court is a traveling court. Generally, the law school tax clinic in each state provides legal assistance to individuals without representation in their case. However, there is no law school in Alaska, so each year students from Gonzaga make the 2,400 mile trek to provide this service.
Getting Assistance from the Tax Clinic
This year, the Tax Court has 28 cases on the docket for Anchorage. Two taxpayers are already represented by the Tax Clinic students, and supervising attorney Jennifer Gellner expects that the students will assist many more taxpayers that come to court without representation. If taxpayers in Spokane need assistance with a tax dispute, they can request an application by calling 509-313-5971 or 1-800-793-1722.