At the Fall Tax Meeting in Atlanta in October 2018, the Section officially launched the Pro Bono Pledge Program. The Section of Taxation is committed to advancing access to representation for low-income and other vulnerable taxpayers, promoting education and the understanding of tax law and advancing fairness and equity in the tax system.
Webinars for Attorneys Interested in Pro Bono Work
The Tax Section started to offer quarterly webinars free to all ABA Members in March, 2018. The webinars build on each other and are meant to prepare tax attorneys who are interested in representing low-income taxpayers but do not have experience working with this population or potentially in controversy at all. Each webinar is recorded and posted here for educational purposes only. If you would like CLE credit, you can also purchase the webinars through the ABA Store.
Nuts & Bolts Collections Workshop Series
- Nuts & Bolts Collections Workshop: A Guide to Assisting Pro Bono Clients with Collection Matters (March 7, 2018)
- Nuts & Bolts Collections Part II: Next Steps in Assisting Pro Bono Clients with Collections Matters (June 13, 2018)
- Nuts & Bolts Collections Part III: Preparing an Offer-in-Compromise for Pro Bono Clients (September 18, 2018)
- Nuts & Bolts Collections Part IV: Common Issues in Preparing Offers for Compromise (February 28, 2019)
Pro Bono Week CLE Series
The Section participates in the ABA’s Celebrate Pro Bono week each October. We usually host a free webinar for attorneys practicing in the pro bono area or working in or with a Low-Income Tax Clinic. The full recordings of these webinars (and their materials) are below.
- Disaster Resiliency: How Tax Attorneys Can Assist When a Disaster Strikes (October 25, 2018)
- 20 Years After 'The End of Welfare:' Workfare Delivered Through Federal and State EITC System (October 24, 2016)
- Designing a Pro Bono Project for Your Firm (October 28, 2015)
- Tax Advocacy for Survivors of Domestic Violence in the Context of Military Life (October 24, 2013)
- Taxation of SCRA Foreclosure Settlements (October 23, 2013)
- Protecting Identity and Encouraging Taxpayer Compliance - Can the IRS Do Both? (October 25, 2012)
- Federal Income Tax Issues Facing Unauthorized Workers and Their Families (October 27, 2011)
- U.S. Tax Court Pro Bono Programs (October 26, 2011)
- Tax Court Controversy: The Nuts and Bolts of Pro Bono Representation (October 25, 2011)
The Tax Assistance Public Service (TAPS) endowment fund provides stable, long-term funding for the Tax Section’s tax-related public service programs. The TAPS endowment fund primarily supports the Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellowship program, which provides two-year fellowships for recent law school graduates to work for non-profit organizations offering tax-related legal assistance to underserved communities.
To date, the TAPS endowment fund has supported nearly 20 fellows providing dozens of years of service and unique projects to advance services to low-income taxpayers. Not only have the fellows produced impressive results, but many have secured positions in the field of low-income tax assistance and continue to serve low-income communities and train a new generation of law students to provide these services after their fellowships. Other fellows have clerked for judges of the U.S. Tax Court who value their experiences working with underserved taxpayers and their perspectives gained from their first-hand involvement in low-income tax issues. Fellows who practice tax law in other settings such as major law firms and the government, continue to contribute to the Tax Section by remaining active in pro bono initiatives, speaking on panels, leading committees, drafting comments, and mentoring fellows and other new lawyers. This program has been incredibly successful both in serving taxpayers who otherwise might not have representation, making systemic change in local communities and in providing a springboard to careers in low-income tax services.
Consider giving to the TAPS endowment fund today. Your generous support will help ensure that the Section can continue its mission to provide legal assistance to those in need.