“The presentation we did for Edison Elementary was important to the community in so many ways,” reflects Federal Tax Clinic Law Clerk Natalie Rodriguez of the clinic’s recent presentation on January 26, 2016. “Not only was it a good way to gain exposure for the clinics, but it was also a great opportunity for the parents to learn a little bit about the basics of tax controversy and dealing with IRS tax issues.”
Accompanied by Outreach Coordinator Patty O’Deane, Rodriguez provided an educational presentation at a parents’ meeting at Edison Elementary School, located in the beautifully diverse community of City Heights. The presentation included an informational English/Spanish language PowerPoint regarding audits, the appeals process, Offers In Compromise (OIC), and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
“I also learned the importance of the services we offer here at the Clinics,” comments Rodriguez. “People of all income levels have tax issues, and for people who are not well-versed in tax law, their tax disputes will often keep them up at night. Dealing with the IRS is tricky, and if we can provide clients with the peace of mind that we are handling their issues, then we have done our job.”
O’Deane spoke about all of USD Legal Clinics and the services they provide, the process for obtaining an appointment, as well as office hours and contact information. During the question and answer session, the audience members’ questions varied from who qualifies as a dependent to whether or not they needed to file a tax return. Rodriguez was able to assist the English and Spanish-speaking attendees during and after the presentation, with translation provided by O’Deane. O’Deane also answered Spanish-speaking attendee’s questions about services provided by the clinics.
“The most rewarding part of the experience was answering their questions after the presentation,” comments Rodriguez. “Many of them had tax issues and had no idea how to begin dealing with them. It felt good to be able to answer a few of their questions and provide them with resources to help resolve their legal matters.”