Skip to main content

Law Students at USD Offer Free Help With Tax Problems

Image Tax Clinic A law student helps a client with a tax issue in the Federal Tax Clinic at USD.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Though this is typically tax season, South Dakotans can receive legal advice year-round for tax disputes with the IRS at the state’s only Federal Tax Clinic at the University of South Dakota’s School of Law.

The Federal Tax Clinic doesn’t offer tax preparation help unless issues from previous years must be settled before the current year’s taxes can be filed. It does, however, help potential clients with everything from questions to more serious issues such as audits, requesting a stay in collections and preparing tax debt settlements.

By contacting Sonya Miller, clinic director, potential clients can determine whether they qualify for representation based on income and household size. Those who do qualify then work with student attorneys who have special authorization to practice before the IRS under Miller’s supervision. Even South Dakotans who do not meet the criteria can still receive guidance in the form of a consultation.

The clinic serves the entire state and taxpayers don’t need to drive to Vermillion because help is also available by phone, fax, video conference, email and regular mail. Though clients don’t pay for the clinic’s time, they must cover some related costs, such as court filing fees.

“IRS letters can be confusing, but we can help you understand them,” Miller said. “This service takes some of the burden off your shoulders. We can answer your questions, whether the IRS is right or wrong, and give you peace of mind.”

Information about the services offered and eligibility can be found at


USD’s Knudson School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News