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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic

The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic helps taxpayers navigate the challenges of the tax system through pro bono representation as well as community education and outreach. Representation in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) include audits, appeals, collection matters, federal tax litigation, and state tax matters (in certain cases, as long as the issues are the result of an IRS controversy). 

The Clinic is housed in the Legal Aid Clinic at Union Rescue Mission, which has served the Skid Row area of Los Angeles for nearly twenty years. View the Pepperdine Caruso Law Legal Aid Clinic 25th Anniversary video on Youtube. 

In accordance with IRS grant requirements, the Clinic provides tax controversy services free of charge to taxpayers whose income does not exceed 250 percent of the annual Federal Poverty Guidelines, with a few exceptions for other cases. See the IRS Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Income Eligibility Guidelines for details.

Students in the Clinic work primarily at the Union Rescue Mission in downtown Los Angeles. They perform intake four hours per week, working directly with clients to gather information about their tax controversies and legal needs.

Under attorney supervision, Pepperdine student law clerks represent taxpayers in disputes with the IRS. In addition, the Clinic provides taxpayer education programs to various social service organizations and community groups.

Professor Isai Cortez directs the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and supervises students' work. For more information about the Clinic's course or practice, contact Professor Cortez at isai.cortez@pepperdine.edu or 213.673.4831. 

Please note: LITC does not handle transactional tax matters, back filing past year tax returns or current year tax return preparation. However, there are many local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites that provide seasonal preparation of federal income tax returns and some may be able to file back years. The IRS has also provided a locator tool