Written by Ken Abramczyk
In June, Phillip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic faculty met with the IRS Wage and Investment division to discuss ways to improve tax settlement processing. The IRS asked specifically to visit the clinic based on its reputation as one of the largest tax clinics in the country and one that has a track record of managing a very large case load.
The meeting certainly made an impression on Ken Corbin, commissioner of the IRS’s Wages and Investment Division.
“The Low-Income Tax Clinic is an important program for taxpayers to get the help they need,” Corbin said. “I am always inspired to meet young people who offer their time to help others. The tax clinic at Georgia State University has benefited taxpayers and tax administration, while preparing students for real world practice.”
The clinic and IRS officials discussed an initiative designed to improve the quality and clarity of tax notices sent to taxpayers. “[Clarity of tax notices] has historically been a big problem, because many taxpayers receive notices from the IRS that trigger important rights,” said Afield. “Those notices are not written in a manner that communicates those rights in a way that is easy to understand.”
For 26 years, the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic has assisted low-income Georgia residents in resolving federal tax controversies. Students provided more than 7,000 hours of legal services for the 2017-2018 academic year, which equals more than $886,000 in dollar value of services.
The clinic’s working relationship with the IRS is a benefit to students and clinic clients. Afield hopes that the agency will meet with students this fall.
“The IRS gives the students a clearer picture about how the agency approaches a tax controversy and the best steps that practitioners can take to help taxpayers resolve that controversy,” said Afield. “The front-line feedback assists the IRS in improving its overall level of service.”