Tax Controversies

Our Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic assists low-income North Carolinians with existing tax controversies with the IRS or North Carolina Department of Revenue.  We rely on pro bono attorneys to assist us with Offers-In-Compromise, which is essentially an offer from the taxpayer to the IRS to enter into an agreement where the taxpayer pays less than the total amount owed.  The cases that we send to pro bono attorneys involve “Doubt as to Collectability” circumstances, where a taxpayer does not have enough income or assets to pay the debt in full. 

We also handle other collection issues, such as Installment Agreements and Hardship Status, as well as audits and tax court litigation. If you are an experienced tax attorney and would like to assist us with one of these matters, please contact us. 

What is involved: 

  • At the outset, you will receive a memo with important information about the client, information about the procedural statute of the case within the IRS, the years that are at issue, the desired outcome for the client, and any relevant documents.  We will provide a detailed plan of action, as well as highlight any red flags or possible impediments we foresee. 
  • Obtain signed Power of Attorney form from the client (IRS 2848) and prepare any engagement letter your firm requires.  You can the fax the POA to the IRS. 
  • Gather all required forms (which are detailed in the OIC booklet from the IRS)  
  • Calculate the appropriate offer amount. 
  • Submit the Offer Application, including Form 656, Form 433-A OIC, application fee and payment towards settlement (unless client qualifies as “low-income”, which most of our clients do), a detailed cover letter (telling the client’s story and making legal arguments), and supporting documentation, such as proof of income, proof of payments, etc. 
  • Wait approximately 6-8 months for approval or rejection after submission.
  • Withdraw your POA when representation is concluded. 

Total time commitment: approximately 20-30 hours over a six-month period, plus time waiting for decision. 

Return to Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy Pro Bono Program page