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Qualifying for Help

Contact the Tax Clinic for help if you are a taxpayer residing in Michigan and you meet the following three requirements.

1. You have a federal tax problem

The Tax Clinic handles all aspects of controversy with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including assisting clients with tax collection problems, liens and levies, offers in compromise, innocent spouse claims, collections due process hearings, and appeals conferences. In addition, the Clinic represents taxpayers in cases before the United States Tax Court, the United States District Court and federal appellate courts. Please note that the Tax Clinic does not generally provide tax return preparation services.

2. You either satisfy the Tax Clinic's income requirements or English is your second language

The income guidelines dictate that in the current year your income cannot exceed 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, as shown in the following table. (Exception: 10% of the taxpayers we represent may have income that exceeds 250% of the federal poverty guidelines.)

Income Limits to Qualify for Representation*

Size of

Family Unit

2017 Income Ceiling

(250% of Federal Poverty Guidelines)*

1

 $30,150

2

$40,600

3

 $51,050

4

 $61,500

5

 $71,950

6

 $82,400 

7

 $92,850

8

$103,300

*For each family member in excess of 8 members, add $10,450 for each additional member. (Source of base poverty levels is the Federal Register Notice.)

 

3. The amount of tax in controversy is less than $50,000 per tax year.

Generally, the Tax Clinic can only assist with taxpayers whose debt for any one tax year is less than $50,000 (not including interest).  However, if your tax debt is more than this amount, please contact us to discuss.

Next Step

If you believe that you meet these requirements, please schedule an appointment with a student tax clinician by calling the Tax Clinic at 517-336-8088, option 4, or by visiting the Tax Clinic during normal business hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

You can expect that your first meeting will take place with one or more student tax clinicians. The student tax clinician you first meet with may not be the clinician ultimately assigned to your case. Please be prepared to discuss your tax concerns as extensively as possible at the first meeting. At or after the first meeting, a decision will be made about whether you can retain the Tax Clinic to represent you. A retention decision will be formalized by a written retainer agreement which the student tax clinician will review with you, and which both you and the Tax Clinic representative will sign. You are not a Tax Clinic client until both you and the Tax Clinic enter into a valid retainer agreement.

Once the Tax Clinic formally undertakes representation relative to your tax matter, you can expect the following:

  • The Tax Clinic will maintain strict client confidentiality.
  • The Tax Clinic will advocate for you to obtain the best resolution possible of your tax matter
  • The Tax Clinic will abide by the Rules of Michigan Professional Responsibility
  • Student tax clinicians assigned to your matter will treat you with the utmost professional courtesy

Please know that we aim to cultivate candor in any properly established attorney/client relationship.

What if you do not qualify?

If you have reviewed the above qualification requirements, but are unsure if you qualify or not, please contact us for a consultation.  We may be able to refer you to someone who can assist you.


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