Federal Tax Clinic
The Federal Tax Clinic represents individual clients in tax
controversy proceedings before the Internal Revenue Service and in the federal courts.
In addition to legal representation of low-income taxpayers throughout Washington state, the Clinic provides UW law
students with practical training in tax law, tax procedure and lawyering skills under the supervision of the Faculty Director Scott Schumacher and Managing Director John Clynch.
|2015-16 Clinic Numbers
|| Full Year (Autumn, Winter, Spring)
||9 for J.D.s (three per quarter)
6 for LL.M.s (two per quarter)
||18 (6 J.D., 12 LL.M.)
||Calendar year 2015, opened 132 new cases.
Saved clients $2,172,985 in 2015.
The Federal Tax Clinic was established in 2000 to assist low-income individuals
in Western Washington in resolving disputes with the Internal Revenue
Service. The federally-funded clinic offers this assistance as a public service
and as a means of training law students in tax practice. The tax clinic has
a pro bono panel of volunteer attorneys to assist the growing number of
low-income taxpayers who have disputes with the IRS.
- Won two cases in the United States Tax Court. In Roberts
v. Commissioner, 141 T.C. No.19 (2013), the Tax Court
found that the taxpayer’s ex-wife withdrew funds from his
IRA without his consent. The Court held that even though
the taxpayer was the owner of IRA, because he did not
request, receive, or benefit from the IRA distributions, he
was not a “payee” or “distributee” within the meaning of
section 408(d)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code. In Bogart
v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2014-46, the Court held
that the IRS abused its discretion in failing to address
the equitable grounds raised by the taxpayers in their
collection due process hearing.
- The UW Federal Tax Clinic received the largest grant
award in the country.
- One of two clinics nationwide in a pilot program utilizing
video conferencing with the IRS.
- Initiated Tax Court Clinic, where unrepresented taxpayers
with Tax Court cases can access the tax clinic to negotiate
on their behalf with IRS Counsel weeks before their Tax
Court session, rather than the morning of Tax Court.
- Received a $2,000 gift from the WSBA Tax Section
- Continued Externship Program for Seattle University law
students and increased enrollment to three students in
summer of 2014.
- Nine current and former Tax Clinic students spent
one week in February in Alaska preparing tax returns
for Alaskan villagers. This tax preparation program
is sponsored by the Alaska Business Development
Corporation and the Graduate Program in Taxation at the
UW School of Law. In 2014, 19 communities were served,
1,723 current year returns were prepared, an estimated
$522,069 in tax preparation fees were saved, and
$2,705,658 in tax refunds were generated
Scott Schumacher Publications
Clinic Director Scott Schumacher is the co-author of the book Tax Crimes, published by LexisNexis.
See Scott's other published works
Schumacher joined the Audit Committee of the Law School Admissions Council
Managing Director John Clynch is the author of Tax Consequences of “Retiring” a General Partner’s Interest in a Law Partnership, which is included in
The Lawyer’s Guide, published by the American Bar Association.