Taxation

Ca. Tax Lawyer SEPTEMBER 2023, VOLUME 32, ISSUE 1

PRO BONO

AUTHOR

Amy Spivey

On December 14, 2022, the Taxation Section held its first pro bono event to advise unrepresented taxpayers who have pending appeals before the Office of Tax Appeals. This project has been years in the making. Taking inspiration from the U.S. Tax Court’s calendar call and settlement day programs, the Taxation Section Pro Bono Conference for Appeals was the result of collaboration between the Taxation Section Executive Committee and the Office of Tax Appeals to design a program intended to assist those taxpayers who cannot afford to hire an attorney to assist with their appeals. Before the Pro Bono Conference on December 14, the Office of Tax Appeals informed taxpayers about the opportunity and directed those interested to contact the Taxation Section project coordinator and Executive Committee member, Amy Spivey, to set up an appointment to meet with volunteer attorneys.

During the Pro Bono Conference, Taxation Section volunteer attorneys Laura Buckley, Mike Shaikh, and Jason Galek met with five unrepresented taxpayers virtually via Zoom during the conference. Volunteers give advice on a range of appeals before the Office of Tax Appeals, helping taxpayers navigate both the substantive and procedural tax law necessary to proceed in their appeals. The response from taxpayers was overwhelmingly appreciative of the volunteers’ time to hear their stories.

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