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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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Business Transactions Committees

  • Business Transactions Public Policy Committee
    This is a joint committee between the Business Transactions and Financial Services Sections. The BBA is very active on the legislative front. Often times, business attorneys are asked to lend their expertise.
  • Business Transactions Public Service Committee
    This is a joint committee of the Business Transactions and Financial Services Section. This committee helps with the Business Law Pro Bono Project which is run by Lawyers Clearinghouse. This committee also works to find new transactional pro bono opportunities for business attorneys.
  • Commercial and Consumer Finance Committee
    This committee focuses on commercial and consumer lending.

    Contact Information

    Christopher Somma

    Goodwin Procter LLP

    (617) 570-3948

    Robert Cooper

    OneUnited Bank

    (617) 457-4400

  • Communications Committee
    This is a joint committee between the Business Transactions and Financial Services Sections. This committee publishes information relevant to the business bar. If you are interested in an editorial position or writing an article, please contact the Co-Chairs.

    Contact Information

    Scott P. Macbeth

    EMC Corporation

    (508) 249-1492

  • Corporate Counsel Committee
    This committee focuses on programs and activities of interest to in-house counsel.

    Contact Information

    Elizabeth Black

    The TJX Companies Inc.

    (508) 390-1000

    Jill A DiGiovanni

    The Endurance International Group, Inc.

    (781) 852-3200

  • Corporate Law Committee
    This committee focuses on the development of laws and policies affecting corporations — both profit and nonprofit — and business trusts.

    Contact Information

    Jonathan Draluck

    Gesmer Updegrove LLP

    (617) 350-6800

  • Energy and Telecommunications Law Committee
    This committee addresses regulatory and related issues affecting the natural gas, electric and telecommunications industries in Massachusetts — on the federal level and in other jurisdictions. Members typically practice before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and state and federal courts.

    Contact Information

    Jamie M. Tosches

    Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General

    (617) 727-2200

    James M. Avery

    Pierce Atwood LLP

    (617) 488-8125

  • Mergers and Acquisitions Committee
    This committee addresses issues unique to business combination transactions, including mergers, share exchanges, tender offers and asset purchases. Lawyers representing buyers, sellers and advisers in planning, negotiating and executing international and domestic public and private transactions are involved.

    Contact Information

    Michael A. Conza

    Morgan Lewis (Federal Street Office)

    (617) 951-8000

    Marc D. Mantell

    Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

    (617) 348-3058

  • Securities Law Committee
    This committee provides members with opportunities to learn about and discuss issues in securities law, such as compliance and regulatory issues.

    Contact Information

    Elizabeth W. Fraser

    Greenberg Traurig, LLP

    (617) 310-6237

    Benjamin Michael Hron

    McCarter & English, LLP

    (617) 449-6584

  • Steering Committee
    The leadership committee of the Section organizes programs and discusses policy. To inquire about opportunities, please contact the Section Co-Chairs.
  • Venture Capital & Emerging Companies Committee