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From Beyond the Billable: An Opportunity to Make a Real Difference

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tax season can be a stressful time of year for anyone, but for many families in the Commonwealth, income tax assistance can mean the difference between subsistence living and dire poverty. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) helps low-to-middle-income taxpayers in Boston complete tax returns and take the steps necessary to receive special credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit and Credit for the Elderly. Volunteers provide free tax preparation in partnership with the Earned Income Tax Credit Coalition (EITC).

Here’s what Avada Douglas a VITA volunteer has to say about the experience:

"I have volunteered with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program since 2007. Without this program, many of these taxpayers would spend around $150 to get their taxes done by a “professional” who does not have their best interest at hand. And this $150 would go far towards meeting their basic needs for food and shelter.

Because of the Earned Income Tax Credit, people who have worked during the year may be eligible for this refundable credit. This is literally money in their pockets – up to $5,891 (2012 rates). The people I have worked with have been very appreciative of the service that we provide, and often come back year after year to the same site.

I like being able to break down the tax law, and explain to taxpayers why they are getting a refund, and what factors led to it. The more they know about their tax situation, the less intimidating it is."

Join the New Lawyers and Tax Sections for an accelerated training session for the VITA program on January 16th from 4-8 pm. No previous experience is required and non-attorneys are welcome to participate. Please note that volunteers will need to complete the certification test separately. Please sign up for the training here.

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Bankruptcy Law Committees

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    Gina M. O'Neil

    Mirick O'Connell - Westborough Office

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    Sheehan, Phinney, Bass + Green-NH

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    Demeo, LLP

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    Murphy & King, Professional Corporation

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    Macken Toussaint

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

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    Murtha Cullina LLP

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    The BBA is very active on the legislative front. Often times, bankruptcy attorneys are asked to lend their expertise.

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    Richard L. Levine

    Nelson Kinder + Mosseau, PC

    (617) 778-7575

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    Goulston & Storrs PC

    (617) 482-1776

  • Bankruptcy Public Service Committee
    This committee organizes the annual Chapter 7 Pro Bono trainings and the Reaffirmation Clinic. The committee works closely with practitioners and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to respond to needs identified in the community.

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    Meg McKenzie Feist

    Choate Hall & Stewart LLP

    (617) 248-5000

    Jesse I. Redlener

    Dalton & Finegold, LLP

    (978) 269-6420

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    This committee focuses on commercial and consumer lending.

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    Christopher Somma

    Goodwin Procter LLP

    (617) 570-3948

    Robert Cooper

    OneUnited Bank

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    This committee updates practitioners regarding changes and developments in Ch. 7 and Ch. 13 cases. In addition, it helps coordinate pro bono bankruptcy services in consumer matters.

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    Amy Azza

    Orlans Moran PLLC

    (781) 7907805

    Kate Nicholson

    Parker & Associates

    (781) 729-0005

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    By volunteering for the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program, you will help high school students across Massachusetts learn to make informed and effective decisions regarding their finances through educational and experiential opportunities. You can become involved by working on the committee to develop and grow the program or teaching at a school.

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    Janet E. Bostwick

    Janet E. Bostwick, PC

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    Douglas B. Rosner

    Goulston & Storrs PC

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    Casner & Edwards, LLP

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    Brown Rudnick LLP

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    Guy B. Moss

    Riemer & Braunstein LLP

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    Jeffrey D. Sternklar

    Duane Morris LLP

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