The Pro Bono Committee focuses on ways to provide desperately needed services to taxpayers who cannot afford to hire professional representatives. We develop or coordinate programs that utilize the skills and efforts of many members to the Tax Section. Our current programs include the following listed below. We ask for your help in participating in these programs. It's easy, fun, and a great way to give back to the community!
Our TAX COURT PRO BONO PROGRAM was the first statewide program of its kind in the nation! We are excited to continue providing this service. Judges from the United States Tax Court hold approximately 20–25 trial sessions per year in Texas. Our program assists pro se, low income taxpayers during the calendar calls. We want to connect with Tax Section members willing to volunteer their time for one or more of the calendar calls.
The volunteers generally (1) answer the taxpayer’s questions about the legal issues and procedure; (2) act as a mediator to assist the taxpayer with discussing the case with IRS Counsel; and/or (3) provide general advice concerning how to present the case at trial. The volunteers generally do NOT enter an appearance before the United States Tax Court. However, volunteers must be licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court in order to participate. The time commitment for any particular calendar call is limited to ONE DAY ONLY and often lasts only a couple of hours. The Tax Section will cover any related travel expense.
The program provides tax practitioners excellent exposure to United States Tax Court Judges while providing a needed service to the community. We have received very positive feedback about the program from the taxpayers, the judges, and IRS Counsel.
Interested Section members may contact the Pro Bono Committee Chair, Juan F. Vasquez, Jr. for more information.
In 2014, the Pro Bono Committee provided VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) training on December 15th through December 19th at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
As part of the Adopt a Base program, Joe Perera gave VITA instruction to military volunteers who prepared tax returns for personnel on base during tax filing season. The training included the basics of completing tax returns, properly reporting income and deduction items, as well as new changes to the tax return as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Please check back on this website for additional Adopt a Base Program opportunities.