Here at McDermott, we value giving back to the community through pro bono efforts. In particular, we provide substantial assistance in pro bono tax cases to low-income individuals through our relationships with low-income taxpayer clinics throughout the country. Over the years, we have settled dozens of cases for low-income taxpayers in docketed tax cases and routinely reduced or eliminated deficiencies asserted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). When settlement has not been possible, we have litigated cases in the Tax Court and obtained favorable results not just for our clients but for the low-income taxpayer community as a whole. For example, we represented a husband and wife on a penalty issue involving an issue of first impression and convinced the Tax Court that the IRS had for years been improperly asserting and collecting penalties on improperly claimed refundable tax credits. In a recent article, we detail some of the pro bono efforts by low-income taxpayer clinics and private practitioners.
Practice Point: In addition to assisting low-income individuals who cannot afford legal representation, providing pro bono tax services benefits tax practitioners in many ways. It provides the opportunity for younger attorneys to take responsibility for a case and to get valuable experience in dealing with clients, negotiating with the IRS, and potentially gaining courtroom experience. Assisting taxpayers on a pro bono basis is also rewarding and can make a significant difference in the lives of low-income individuals.