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Law students offer tax preparation assistance

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Students from the four Indiana law schools are participating in the Internal Revenue Service’s Volunteers in Tax Assistance program during the 2011 tax season. The requirements to participate in the programs vary, and some programs may require agencies to refer clients to them. All four programs have students working directly with clients under supervision of their professors and tax attorneys, and require the clients to be low- to moderate-income, generally earning $49,000 or less per year.

In Bloomington, Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law and Kelley School of Business are teaming up for the VITA program. Walk-in clients can get advice at the law school, 211 S. Indiana Ave., in room 121 starting Feb. 7 through March 10 on Mondays and Thursdays, 5 to 8 p.m.

Valparaiso University School of Law’s VITA program will provide tax assistance Saturdays Feb. 12 through April 9 at the law school’s student lounge located at 656 S. Greenwich St., Valparaiso. More information and a form to schedule an appointment is on the school’s website.

Students at Notre Dame Law School volunteer in the United Way of St. Joseph County’s VITA program, according to professor Judith Fox, who teaches in that school’s legal aid clinic. Clients can make an appointment by calling the 211 helpline.

Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis students have also volunteered for that school’s VITA program to offer assistance to low- and moderate-income residents with their tax preparation. They are awaiting IRS approval at this time, and 65 people have shown up at meetings and are working on their certifications, said their supervisor, law professor Carrie Anne Hagan.

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