The Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits
VITA Clinic: Offering Free Tax Assistance to Those in Need
In January 2010, the Center welcomed the IRS-sponsored Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to John Marshall, which affords pro bono opportunities for our students and adjuncts. Each spring semester, an adjunct professor and an LLM candidate coordinate the program and volunteers. After an initial training session to learn basic tax return preparation, both JD and LLM candidates participate in this program providing free tax preparation for low income taxpayers. Adjunct Professor Robert A. McKenzie directs this program with the assistance of a tax student leader.
The program was started in 1971 at California State University Northridge, and grew from a small group of local students to a nationwide program serving thousands of taxpayers. The John Marshall Law School was the only Illinois law school involved with this program intended for low income taxpayers and those with special needs, including elderly, non-English-speaking, and disabled individuals.
Participating volunteers are required to commit to at least six hours in the clinic. In addition to volunteer tax preparers, the clinic also seeks volunteers fluent in Spanish and Polish to assist in interpreting. For more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013 hours of operation: Saturdays, February 2 – April 13 | 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
John Marshall's VITA Clinic offers tax assistance to families with income under $50,000. In order to receive tax assistance, taxpayers must bring the following:
- Valid ID
- Social Security cards or ITIN numbers for all family members
- Both spouses (for joint filing as married)
- All W-2 and 1099 forms (if applicable)
- Copy of last year's tax return
- Information concerning additional income
- Information concerning all deductions/credits
- Bank routing and account numbers (if using direct deposit)
- State Returns Filed: More than 120
- Total State Liability: $6,150
- Total State Refunds: $6,585
- Federal Returns Filed: More than 120
- Total Federal Liability: $31,122
- Total Federal Returns: $136,752