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LAW 1036: Low Income Taxpayer Policy & Practice
Spring 2023 • Section 01 • CRN 25329

Course Description

This course enables students to obtain hands on experience assisting low-income taxpayers while gaining interviewing problem solving skills. Coupled with the direct taxpayer assistance is classroom discussion of tax policies regarding low-income taxpayers and processing the hands-on experience through the lens of existing tax policy scholarship and commentary. Students will become certified as volunteer tax return preparers for VITA, the IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, and will volunteer at a VITA site of their choice for a minimum of 30 hours during the semester. Class will meet once per week. Usually, it will meet remotely; however, some classes will meet in person. Classes will consist of two parts. During the first part, students will generally share their experiences preparing low-income taxpayers’ returns, specifically linking what they are seeing in the returns to the scholarship they have read for the class. During the second part, they will discuss the specific reading assigned for that class and hear from speakers engaged in scholarship and policy development of the issues. Students will also produce a series of at least three short papers in which they will offer their reflections on their tax preparation experience and the ways in which it does, or does not, connect with the policies reflected in the scholarship they have read. At the end of the course, students will develop a project, either alone or in a small group, present the project to the class, and write a final paper describing the project. The project can be a recommendation for regulatory or legislative change, suggestions for administrative improvement, or can reflect research into some aspect of low-income taxpayer policy. The course will be graded, and the grade for the course will reflect a combination of the quality of the periodic reflection papers, participation in class meetings, and the final presentation and paper.


Day/Time Location
T 10:00-11:50 AM Klein 7A

Course Details

  • Alice Abreu
  • Keith Fogg
  • Susan Morgenstern
Credit Hours

3 Credits



Course Type
  • Writing
Course Modality


Fulfills J.D. Requirement




Registration Info


You must have completed the following courses before enrolling in this course:

  • LAW 0600 (Taxation)

Book List/Materials