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Federal Tax Law Clinic Partners With the NYC Bar Justice Center in Assisting Detained Immigrants

October 09, 2012 – 

The Federal Tax Law Clinic at Rutgers School of Law–Newark has entered into a partnership with the City Bar Justice Center of the New York City Bar Association to help individuals housed in jails in Monmouth and Hudson Counties who are subject to deportation because of minor non-violent criminal convictions.

“The partnership allows the Rutgers law students the opportunity to gain experience conducting interviews in which they have to glean pertinent information necessary for the preparation of delinquent tax returns,” said Sandy Freund, Clinical Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Rutgers Federal Tax Law Clinic. “The students learn compassion and gain exposure to truly deserving individuals who are part of an underserved population. Partnering with the City Bar on this project has thus far been a win-win situation.”

To date, the clinic has assisted two detainees in their Cancellation of Removal proceedings by preparing delinquent tax returns for them for proof of “good standing.” Tax Clinic students who interviewed one of the clients at the Hudson County Detention Center in Kearny said that actually meeting the client and seeing his living conditions motivated them to work their hardest to get him relief.

The clinic will continue to aid at-risk clients by offering counsel and completing the necessary paperwork to bring them into federal tax law compliance.

Students in the Federal Tax Law Clinic, under the direction of Freund, a former IRS docket attorney, and Professor Cynthia Blum, who helped establish the clinic in 1995, represent low-income taxpayers involved in disputes with the IRS at audits, at negotiations with IRS Appeals and Collections Hearings, and in cases before the U.S. Tax Court.