School of Law receives IRS grant to serve low income taxpayers

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota School of Law is the recipient of a $50,000 matching grant from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to open a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) to serve taxpayers during 2008. The USD School of Law LITC is located on campus in Vermillion, S.D., but also works with legal services and other offices in the state.

"We are very grateful to add The University of South Dakota Law School, which can serve East River residents," IRS South Dakota Taxpayer Advocate Mary Finnesand said. "South Dakotans have been fortunate to have Black Hills State University Foundation serving West River taxpayers for years now." Each clinic independently decides if taxpayers meet the income guidelines and other criteria before it agrees to represent them, she said. 

Two law professors and staff work in assisting qualifying taxpayers through the USD Law School office. Professor Michael Myers serves as the LITC director and Professor Randall Gingiss is the LITC’s Qualified Tax Expert, as defined by the IRS. 

"This grant allows the Law School to augment our commitment to both the service and teaching aspects of our mission," said Dean Barry R. Vickrey. "The IRS is to be commended for expanding this service to low-income taxpayers in South Dakota."

LITCs are organizations independent from the IRS that provide low-income taxpayers with representation in federal tax controversies with the IRS for free or for a nominal charge. LITCs represent taxpayers before the IRS, assisting them in audits, appeals and collection disputes, and can help taxpayers respond to IRS notices and to correct account problems. 

Taxpayers may reach the USD School of Law School LITC at (800) 747-1895 or by e-mail at litc@usd.edu. More information, including a printable brochure, is also available at www.usd.edu/law/LITC.cfm.

Through the LITC program, the IRS awards matching grants of up to $100,000 a year to qualifying organizations. For the 2008 grant cycle, the IRS awarded LITC grants to 154 organizations representing all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Questions about the LITC Program can be addressed to the LITC Program Office at (202) 622-4711 or by e-mail at LITCProgramOffice@irs.gov.

For more information about The University of South Dakota School of Law contact Associate Dean Tom Sorensen at Tom.Sorensen@usd.edu or (605) 677-5393.