Calendar Call of the United States Tax Court

January 28, 2007Duke Law News

Duke Law students enrolled in the School's Low-income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), sponsored by Dewey Ballantine LLP, attended the Calendar Call of the United States Tax Court in Winston Salem on Oct. 2, offering legal assistance to unrepresented qualified taxpayers.

Asked to assist on two cases, students successfully developed the fact situation of one involving an Earned Income Tax Credit (LITC), resulting in a favorable outcome for the client. "If the case had been tried, it is unllikely that the taxpayer/client would have received the same resolution because he didn't really understand the legal issues involved," said Alan Weinberg, director of the LITC.

In another case involving tax deductions for alimony payments, students applied a five factor test established by Congress to determine whether the client's alimony payments qualified as a legitimate deduction, said Weinberg. "The students reinforced exactly what the IRS attorney had told the client. Although equity may have been on his side, the law was not. It illustrates that work in the classroom can have a positive application in the courtroom."