Mary Michelle Gillum

Director Tennessee Taxpayer Project, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands

Mary Michelle Gillum is the Director of the Legal Aid Society’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, also known as the Tennessee Taxpayer Project. Ms. Gillum, in conjunction with the University of Tennessee College of Law Legal Clinic and the Legal Aid Society, founded the Tennessee Taxpayer Project in 2000. Since 2000, the Tennessee Taxpayer Project has represented over 5,000 clients before the IRS and procured financial benefits totaling over $40,000,000. Ms. Gillum obtained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee in 1994 where she majored in Accounting and Business Law. In 2000, she obtained a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee College of Law. She is admitted to practice in the United States Tax Court, United States Bankruptcy Court and United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. She litigates cases each year in the United States Tax Court and United States Bankruptcy Court. Ms. Gillum was lead counsel in Marlow v. Commissioner, a published case that outlined actions the government must take in verifying requirements of applicable law and administrative procedure have been met in a due process hearing, and in Vinatieri v. Commissioner, a published case affirming IRC 6334(a)(1 )(D) prohibits levy when a taxpayer is facing economic hardship, even if noncompliant in filing returns. Ms. Gillum also served as counsel on Lantz v. Commissioner, a case that went up to the Circuit Court of Appeals, ultimately changing the time period to request equitable innocent spouse relief from two to ten years. Ms. Gillum began working with the Legal Aid Society in 2000 with a full fellowship from Equal Justice Works (EJW). In September 2014, EJW named Ms. Gillum to the Equal Justice Works Alumna Hall of Fame. In 2004, she received the 8. Riney Green Award from the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, for outstanding efforts to promote collaboration among legal aid programs. She recently received the Tennessee Bar Association’s 2018 Ashley T. Wiltshire Public Service Attorney of the Year Award. Ms. Gillum is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association Faculty and provides continuing legal education seminars to attorneys throughout the state. The IRS regularly invites her to present training to examiners. She has also been invited to advise the Commissioner of the IRS on systemic issues related to low-income taxpayers. Ms. Gillum’s current practices includes federal income tax controversies, bankruptcy and collection defense.

Mary Michelle Gillum
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