Federal Tax Clinic’s Law Clerk Speaks to “Second Chancers”

“Thursday’s presentation was very rewarding because of how truly engaged the participants were in the subject matter and because they were clearly looking to change their lives for the better,” comments USD Legal Clinics Law Clerk Ian Friedman of his recent Federal Tax Clinic presentation at the Second Chance Program. As part of its ongoing outreach activities, the Federal Tax Clinic offers presentations across San Diego County, providing valuable information to low-income taxpayers.

Thursday, September 26, 2013 saw Friedman at one of San Diego’s local non-profit organizations, providing tax information to individuals working to get their lives back on track after recent incarceration. “The presentation focused on the types of services that the Federal Income Tax Clinic provides and how those services may be beneficial to the participants in the Second Chance program,” describes Friedman. “The presentation also covered several basic tax concepts including Offers in Compromise, Non-Collectible status and the audit process.”

Law Clerk Ian Friedman presenting on Offers in Compromise to Second Chance participants.

Law Clerk Ian Friedman presenting on Offers in Compromise to Second Chance participants.

Approximately seventeen Second Chance participants attended the presentation, held in the Encanto area. Attendees listened to a short presentation with opportunities for questions and answers afterward. “Several individuals were interested in finding out more about whether the statute of limitations would bar them from collecting their past refunds,” elaborates Friedman. “Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to answer those types of specific legal questions, so I instead advised the individuals to call the clinic so we could assign them to a law student who would be allowed to answer that question.”

In addition to community presentations, the Federal Tax Clinic also offers consultations and legal assistance to low-income taxpayers, while providing important practical experience for legal interns enrolled in USD’s School of Law. As the Law Clerk this semester for the Federal Tax Clinic, Friedman also provides support to the legal interns and staff, while at the same time providing him with the opportunity to refine his skills and gain valuable post-graduate experience.

“I really enjoyed the Second Chance presentation because the group was incredibly engaging and seemed very interested in the presentation,” reflects Friedman. “It was also great to see individuals who have had trouble in the past working to turn their lives around.”

Founded in 1993 by Executive Director Scott H. Silverman, Second Chance is committed to breaking the cycle of unemployment, poverty, homelessness, substance abuse and incarceration that plague our city. This is accomplished by offering job readiness training, job placement, affordable housing, mental health counseling, case management, and life skills for homeless and unemployed men, women and youth who desire to change their lives.

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