“This outreach was a great chance to help out members of our community,” comments Federal Tax Clinic legal intern, Aaron Clinger. “Most of the people attending the outreach program had tax issues and many of the attendees asked us to help them answer their questions regarding the IRS. We gave both information about how to deal with conflicts with the IRS and we also spoke about several different issues relating to filing taxes this tax season.”
As part of its ongoing outreach work, funded in part by the IRS, USD Legal Clinics Federal Tax Clinic presented to parents at Edison Elementary School on Tuesday, February 4, 2014. Law Clerk Whitney Fountain and Legal Intern Aaron Clinger attended a school parent meeting to provide information and answer questions as the income tax filing deadline approaches.
“I think these types of community presentations are important to the community because it provides useful tax information throughout the year,” comments Federal Tax Clinic Law Clerk, Whitney Fountain. “The presentations also let them know there is free legal help at our clinic for those who already are having trouble with the IRS.”
Fountain and Clinger presented in English, with Spanish interpretation, on topics including audits, the appeals process, Offers In Compromise, and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). “The presentation was bi-lingual and our interpreter was excellent. We also had translation help from Legal Clinics Outreach Coordinator, Patty O’Deane,” comments Clinger. “When we were finished, our interpreter continued to help us to communicate with attendees who had further questions. This was extremely helpful both for the attendees and for us.”
Approximately twenty-one people attended the presentation, which included time for questions and answers both in a group format, and one-on-one after the presentation. “Several attendees told me that they had a plan to call our clinic when they spoke with me after the presentation,” adds Clinger. “I felt great knowing that my presentation could help others with their legal problems, and that despite the difference in language, I was able to provide options for members of our community.”
“What’s most rewarding about participating in the community outreach presentations is actually helping people,” reflects Fountain. “The presentation is always helpful in itself, but when we can answers attendee’s questions and help to guide them in the right direction, it’s even more fulfilling.”
Be sure to check out the Legal Clinics new “Tax Tips/Consejos Sobre Los Impuestos” blog articles, available in English and Spanish.