Students in the Tax Practicum at the University of Mississippi School of Law are getting real-world experience by assisting Oxford residents with their taxes this season. The students in the law school’s Tax Clinic manage and staff an IRS-funded Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at the Oxford-Lafayette Public Library twice a week.
Sessions are being held every Tuesday and Thursday, with the exception of March 14 and 16 (due to Spring Break), from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. There are fourteen students that are members of the tax clinic this fall. Each student is IRS certified, and Professor Donna Davis oversees the clinic.
“Personally, my favorite part of the clinic is how Professor Davis encourages the project to be student-led,” said John George Archer, site coordinator and third-year law student. “It is very much a team effort each clinic day to complete tax returns and resolve the gamut of issues that we can encounter any given day. It’s pretty fast paced and engaging. At the end of the day, it feels good to help people understand their taxes and maximize any refunds they may have.”
The clinic is geared towards low-income clients. Participants need to bring a photo ID, Social Security card, and any tax documents. The students take it from there.
“I really appreciate how the clinic has given us the opportunity to interact with the taxpayers who rely on us to do our jobs well,” said Peter Liddell, site coordinator and third-year student. “The nature of our work requires us to handle sensitive information and ask personal questions. It has been an excellent opportunity to learn how to engage people in a professional manner which will be an invaluable skill for our careers as attorneys.”
The clinic will continue until April 6. The students hope to hold a special Friday clinic March 31 at the Law School.