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Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Fall 2019 Updates & Faculty Highlights

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Sturm College of Law

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The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) had a successful year and opened 62 new cases dealing with a wide array of IRS and Colorado Department of Revenue issues.  Some of the cases came from Wyoming Legal Services after their clinic closed at the end of 2018. LITC will assist low income Wyoming residents until their state establishes a new clinic.

Additionally, LITC hosted two Tax Court Pro Bono Settlement Days in conjunction with Colorado Legal Services, the Colorado Bar Association and IRS’s Office of Chief Counsel in March and in September, where LITC consulted with taxpayers regarding their cases before the U.S. Tax Court. The Pro Bono Settlement Days also provided an opportunity for unrepresented taxpayers to receive pro bono representation to settle their cases without the need to litigate them in court. The Tax Court has come to Denver twice this year and will be back in town at the end of October. LITC students will attend to consult with pro se taxpayers, observe trials, and learn more about the Court.

LITC, along with several other community organizations, attended Tax Help Colorado’s Taxathon in February to provide individuals with more information about the type of services LITC can provide.

Erin Stearns, associate professor of the practice and LITC director, visited North Carolina Central University where she guest lectured several classes to law students, including those in their LITC. Stearns, along with two other founding members and practitioners, launched a Collection Due Process Summit Initiative in May to collaborate with the Internal Revenue Service to improve the effectiveness of Collection Due Process, a procedure intended to protect taxpayers from unfair collection practices.

low income tax clinic
LITC students Addy Ojo, Tim Thompson, Brian Scarnegie, Prof. Erin Stearns, Prof. Samantha Galvin, and Iris Palomino celebrate the LITC’s ongoing success.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Faculty Highlights

Associate Professor of the Practice of Taxation Samantha Galvin


Panelist, “Recent U.S. Tax Court Designated Orders,” LITC Annual Grantee Conference, Washington D.C. (December 4, 2018).

Presenter, “Tax Court – How and When to Use It, Your Right to a Fair and Just Tax System Taxpayer Advocate Service,” Colorado Congressional Seminar 2019, Denver, Colo. (June 26, 2019).


Blog post, Designated Orders 9/24/2018 – 9/28/2018: Understand the Remand; No Proof, No Relief (October 17, 2018). Read More.  

Blog post, Frustration with the Premium Tax Credit, Designated Orders 11/19/18 – 11/23/18 (December 18, 2018). Read More.

Blog post, The Tax Court’s Tenacious Stance on 280E: Designated Orders 12/17/2018 – 12/21/2018 (January 17, 2019). Read More.

Blog post, Lesser Known Nuances of Innocent Spouse Relief, Designated Orders 2/11/2019 – 2/15/2019 (March 8, 2019). Read More.

Blog post, IRS’s “Trust Me, it Wasn’t Yours” Defense Doesn’t Fly, Designated Orders 3/11 – 3/15/2019 (April 16, 2019). Read More.

Blog post, AJAC and the APA, Designated Orders 4/8/2019 – 4/12/19 (May 23, 2019). Read More.

Blog post, Clay v. Commissioner: Section 6751(b) Approval Required before 30-Day Letter (June 25, 2019). Read More.  

Blog post, Jurisdiction Cannot Be Manufactured, Designated Orders 6/3/19 – 6/7/19. (August 1, 2019). Read More.

Associate Professor of the Practice of Taxation Erin Stearns


The Collection Due Process Summit Initiative, forthcoming, ABA Tax Times (forthcoming, November 2019).

Navigating IRS Collections and Presenting Special Circumstances, ABA Tax Times (February 2018).


Panelist (lead), American Bar Association Taxation Section Fall Meeting, Panel Lead: How Can I Live On That? Atlanta, GA  (October 4, 2018).

Panelist, “Collectability as a Litigation Tool: Settling with DOJ vs. IRS,” American Bar Association Low Panelist, Income Taxpayer Representation Workshop, Washington, DC (December 3, 2018).

Panelist, “Beyond the Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth: Collection Due Process,” American Bar Association Taxation Section Annual Meeting, Washington D.C. (May 10, 2019).

Panelist (lead), “What is Collection Due Process?  A Practical Introduction to the Stages of CDP,” American Bar Association Taxation Section Fall Meeting, San Francisco, Calif. (October 3, 2019).