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CUA Law Students Aim to Make Tax Forms EZ for Area Residents

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For the elderly, immigrants, the disabled, and other groups, the tax filing season can bring high anxiety, and the dread of accounting mistakes or hard-to-decipher forms.
 
Catholic University law students are primed to help. Thirty students attended a 10-hour orientation on tax preparation on Jan. 12, spending a very long Saturday at the law school as participants in its new Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which takes place between January and April.  
 
Paul Kurth, (top photo, at right) director of Columbus Community Legal Service’s (CCLS) Consumer Protection Project, conducted the training with the volunteer assistance of several CUA Law staff members.
 
Following the training, students are required to obtain IRS certification by passing three required tests to become pro bono tax preparers for low-and-middle-income D.C. and Maryland residents. 
 
In addition to their tax training, students also picked up tips on how to greet clients and perform initial screenings to determine what level of assistance is needed.   Students receive pro bono credit for participation.  

“We are very excited about this new opportunity for our students to learn fantastic skills and serve the community” said CUA Law Professor Catherine Klein, director of CCLS.  “We would like this to be the beginning of a more permanent project if everything works out like we plan.”
 
Any student interested in learning more about pro bono tax preparation for underserved populations is encouraged to contact Paul Kurth Kurth@law.edu for more information.