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Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic Highlights

Monday, September 15, 2008  
Posted by: The Advocate
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Eight students—Vanessa Hagen, Jason Sims, Diane Ritchie, Tonya Gibbs, Jacqueline Smith, Samuel Buo, Jason Seidman, and Nayda Maldonado— participated in the Eleanor Holmes Norton Washington DC tax day. LITC students as well as ten to fifteen other law students acted as tax screeners. After assessing taxpayers filing status, we directed the taxpayers to specific tax preparation rooms depending upon their individual tax status. Over 500 returns were completed and filed with the IRS that day.

Samuel Buo began the Offer in Compromise (OIC) process with the IRS in February 2008 for an elderly client undergoing chemotherapy. The taxpayer was so thankful that he wrote a letter to Dean Broderick which said among other things that "Without UDC’s Tax Clinic I would have lost my home, and a chance to live the rest of my life with dignity.”

Nayda Maldonado worked on an Offer in Compromise case (federal and in DC) for an elderly, blind, bilingual taxpayer. The assessed amount was reduced and the taxpayer was extremely grateful.

Jason Sims negotiated "currently not collectible” status for a number of taxpayers who could not afford to pay their liabilities.

Tonya Gibbs began working with a chronic non-filer and very disorganized taxpayer who had multiple tax issues over many tax years. Tonya filed the individual’s tax returns (both federal and DC) so the next student attorney was in a position to begin the collection phase of the case.

Jason Seidman initially was assigned taxpayers not responding to his telephone calls and letters. Jason continued to be persistent and the individuals became valued clients for whom we successfully advocated.

Diane Ritchie successfully advocated for a number of bilingual clients with the assistance of the Clinic paralegal Ms. Jordana Arias. Diane was able to reach settlement agreements for a number of her bilingual clients.

Jackie Smith successfully negotiated a installment agreement for a young Spanish couple whose tax return was misclassified by the tax preparer. The young couple has a number of children and the monthly dollar amount they must pay does not produce any economic hardship.

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