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The ABA Career Center's Career Insights Podcast series is designed to explore cutting-edge issues, trends, and practices that impact the legal profession and the lawyers entering and growing in the profession. Each podcast is led by an experienced interviewer who will introduce a subject that is current and will involve leading experts, academicians, and practitioners reacting to the interviewer’s questions.
 
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Welcome to the tax filing season! Andrew Belter and William Schmidt start with a discussion of reconciling the child tax credit with Letter 6419. From there, we turn to differences between state and federal taxes. For one, can you still find paper copies of your state tax forms at your local public library? Who is faster at processing paper tax ret…
 
Evisort co-founder Jake Sussman says when the company began developing its contract management and analysis platform, its goal was to use artificial intelligence as a last resort. But it soon became clear that AI was the only way to solve the contract challenges that Evisort wanted to help users tackle. Special thanks to our sponsors, Alert Communi…
 
Happy New Year 2022! Andrew Belter and William Schmidt discuss what the year will hold regarding taxes. The individual tax season will begin on January 24 and is expected to last through April 18 this year. We discuss our outlook on the upcoming tax season and other items for the year. This tax filing season, a difference will be reconciliation of …
 
Physical aspects aren’t the only changes in federal litigation, according to two veteran Chicago litigators. They think jurors, particularly those younger than age 40, are much more forgiving when a witness is caught lying, few care whether a party admits to drug use, and many expect significant documentation from law enforcement trying to defend m…
 
On this episode, Andrew Belter and William Schmidt discuss issues that the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is having in 2021. Due to the IRS being backed up, taxpayers are contacting TAS for assistance. While TAS normally provides assistance to taxpayers, the IRS and TAS are being contacted by taxpayers in record numbers. As a result, TAS is diffic…
 
AJ Shankar, the founder and CEO of e-discovery platform Everlaw, likes to say his company’s technology is designed to help clients find needles in a haystack. But he notes that the haystacks that law firms and corporate in-house teams have to confront have grown in size and complexity in recent years. This has prompted cloud-based Everlaw to enhanc…
 
On this episode, Andrew Belter and William Schmidt review offers in compromise – what are some of the basics in making an offer and what are the types of offers? There is also a discussion of offset bypass refunds – working with the Taxpayer Advocate Service to try and get a refund for a client who owes a past-due government debt. Next, we turn to …
 
The heavy, hardback editions of Martindale-Hubbell law directories, which were published annually and had different volumes for each jurisdiction, represented an important tool for executive search consultants back in the 1980s, before internet access was common, and lawyers’ backgrounds could only be found through paper or word of mouth. Special t…
 
Law prof Michele Pistone says there aren’t enough immigration lawyers and pro bono attorneys to meet the demand of immigrants seeking legal assistance. This justice gap is a primary reason that she created a program to train paraprofessionals to handle legal work in the immigration realm. Special thanks to our sponsors, Alert Communications and Smo…
 
The IRS uses Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to quickly get information to the public regarding hot topics concerning taxes. Most recently, the IRS has been using FAQs regarding stimulus payments and the advance child tax credit. The IRS has been getting the word out about these topics to assist taxpayers to receive payments they are entitled to …
 
Happy Halloween! No tricks this time, just a treat. This time we have a discussion of the filing status on tax returns. William Schmidt asks Andrew Belter – what is the need for listing whether you are married or single on the tax return? When the tax return started, traditional values supported marriage incentives. Now, there have been changes in …
 
In the late 1980s, law school groups for gay and lesbian students met off campus in case members didn’t want the school community to know their sexual orientation. And there were so few female faculty at law schools, if two or more were seen together talking, male faculty would ask what they were up to. So if they were actually up to something, suc…
 
Andrew Belter and William Schmidt discuss their experiences with withdrawing from cases in the U.S. Tax Court. Since it is necessary to receive court approval for an attorney to withdraw from a case, both of your hosts provide guidance on how to navigate what is required to be withdraw from a case when your client is no longer cooperating with you.…
 
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati announced last month that it had teamed up with Workiva Inc. to create an application that automates the S-1 form that companies must file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission when going public. Special thanks to our sponsors, Alert Communications and Smokeball.…
 
Last episode, William Schmidt talked on his own and gave the setup for the current episode. Now, he is joined by Andrew Belter to break down the Tax Court’s virtual visit to Kansas City and the 2021 American Bar Association Tax Section Virtual Fall Tax Meeting. In Kansas City’s virtual Tax Court, learn more about the extra guests that appeared duri…
 
A few decades ago, there were no page limits for U.S. Supreme Court briefs, and that brought considerable headaches for the clerks who had to read them. Also, the justices rarely, if ever, asked more than 15 questions total during oral arguments. But that changed in 1986, after Antonin Scalia joined the high court. Special thanks to our sponsor, La…
 
This episode is providing a quick update on some items that William Schmidt is involved with. For starters, there is Tax Court for Kansas City scheduled the week of September 20 and coming the week of January 24. Next, William is involved with the Individual and Family Taxation Committee and gives a preview of their panel. Last, William is on a pan…
 
Priori is an online platform known for using data and technology to connect in-house legal teams with lawyers and law firms who can assist with a wide variety of projects. But Basha Rubin, CEO and co-founder at Priori, says the company noticed that clients were sometimes turning to its online marketplace for help with problems that “might be best s…
 
Many Harvard Law School students knew of classmate Rehan Staton through a July 2020 video that went viral, which featured him opening a Harvard Law School acceptance email. There’s a lot more to him than the video, and Staton wanted to connect with classmates more significantly while they attended remote classes over the past year. Special thanks t…
 
Andrew Belter and William Schmidt have a discussion on two items regarding client deadlines in taxes. -What to do when a client shows up with a short deadline for the IRS or Tax Court? This might put an attorney in a bind regarding the work to do in a short amount of time. Entering an appearance in court is easy for an attorney to do, but requires …
 
Sonja Ebron and her wife, Debra Slone, saw firsthand how difficult it can be to represent yourself in civil cases through experiences they had being sued and suing others. Ebron says the couple’s legal battles spanning several different practice areas ultimately prompted them to develop a platform called Courtroom5, an online toolbox that helps sel…
 
Andrew Belter and William Schmidt discuss some items that have been happening at Legal Aid of Western Missouri (LAWMO). Last year, LAWMO set up a help line for people needing help getting their stimulus/Economic Impact Payments. An article about the help line went viral and LAWMO wound up getting hundreds of applicants. Now, LAWMO has a grant for a…
 
Andrew Belter - is he guest or co-host or…is he both? Andrew Belter, Clinic Director of the LITC at Wisconsin Judicare joins William Schmidt of the LITC at Legal Aid of Western Missouri to discuss the child tax credit. What are some of the issues for the child tax credit for divorced or separated parents? Is there a safe harbor for people who shoul…
 
The IRS is hosting advance child tax credit free tax prep days to assist taxpayers in filing 2020 tax returns in order to be eligible for the child tax credit in 12 select cities. Turnout was low on June 25 and 26 so I am providing information to boost turnout on July 9 and 10. For information, go to this website: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/advan…
 
As the dean of Pennsylvania State University's law school during the COVID-19 pandemic, and at a time of significant social unrest, Hari Osofsky tried to say yes whenever possible. Leadership involves taking in a variety of viewpoints, she explains, and recognizing what students, professors and administration want is a good way to guarantee people …
 
I wanted to let you know about a recent publication from the American Bar Association. It is an essential reference for any tax controversy or Low Income Taxpayer Clinic worker. I was co-author of chapter 5 for this edition, "Securing Information from the IRS by Taxpayers." Effectively Representing Your Client Before the IRS, 8th EditionEdited by C…
 
Two big updates from the IRS came out this week: The Advance Child Tax Credit Non-Filer Portal is now available The non-filer portal is now available and further online tools will assist taxpayers to get the advance child tax credit this year. Payments will begin on July 15 and will continue around the 15th of the month until the end of 2021. IRS C…
 
With transitioning between legal aid organizations, this has been a great time for me to clean up the various clients that I am connected with through the CAF Unit at the IRS. Before leaving Kansas Legal Services, I tried to sever ties with various clients by submitting withdrawals to the CAF Unit. Following that, I did a Freedom of Information Act…
 
There are Low Income Taxpayer Clinic practitioners that focus on more than tax issues. They might be required to work on more than one grant project at a legal aid, so have a split such as 50%/50% between projects. Or they might be teaching at a law school on other courses such as remedies and contracts. Do clinicians like the variety or would they…
 
Lawyer and author David Lat thinks remote working for lawyers is here for the foreseeable future, and that’s just one of the many significant changes that he sees the pandemic bringing to the legal profession.Special thanks to our sponsor, LawPay.By Legal Talk Network
 
Andrew Belter and I have moved between LITC organizations and we have a discussion about the related issues. There are many things to think about when leaving a clinic and making things ready or starting at a clinic and getting into the learning curve. We have a discussion of the need for transition plans, the LITC grant report, getting started in …
 
A personal update! I have changed jobs from the LITC at Kansas Legal Services to working at the LITC at Legal Aid of Western Missouri. Additionally, I am Supervising Attorney for their Consumer Protection Unit. The unit assists low-income clients to retain ownership of their homes via bankruptcy, tax sale redemption contracts, loan modifications, n…
 
You should be aware of Nina Olson if you are interested in taxes. She was National Taxpayer Advocate for 18 years, cementing the role for leadership of the Taxpayer Advocate Service. She has crossed the nation to get taxpayer feedback, testified before Congress, and submitted annual reports to Congress. Now, she is the Executive Director of the Cen…
 
The next American Bar Association Section of Taxation May Meeting is coming up next week and it is virtual.On this episode, I discuss various committee panels that focus on tax controversy, policy, ethics, teaching and other interests I have.Also, there are panels connected to the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic world such as the Pro Bono and Tax Clinic…
 
I took a U.S. Tax Court case to trial and won! This episode discusses the events from the virtual calendar call of Wichita, Kansas to the decision posting on the Tax Court website. Timeline: February 11, 2021 – Tax Court Calendar Call (Wichita, KS) February 23, 2021 – Tax Court Conference Call March 10, 2021 – Trial March 11, 2021 – Bench Opinion O…
 
Emily D. Baker wanted a diversion from 2020, so she started doing her own legal commentary about pop culture, with topics including a pair of "Satan Shoes" associated with rapper Lil Nas X and the conservatorship of Britney Spears. Today, Baker is considered to be an influencer. According to her, she earns more than she did as a Los Angeles County …
 
Just what does IRS Chief Counsel do? Well, they represent the IRS as their client. What does that mean? In this episode, I unpack different job items that IRS Chief Counsel does beyond go to U.S. Tax Court. For example, Chief Counsel advise on different legal matters for other divisions of the IRS. What else do they do? Tune in to learn more. For f…
 
In any profession, it is a curve ball when any skilled person is no longer available. This could be due to death, illness, disability, retirement or just plain turnover at the employer. I looked into succession plans and have some guidance from LITC Administration. There are things to think about when it comes to case review, grant reporting, conta…
 
The American Rescue Plan was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021. It contains several provisions. Part of the law focuses on tax provisions as well. In this episode, there is a rundown of top ten items affecting individual tax filers. 1) The third round of stimulus payments (economic impact payments) 2) Earned income tax credit…
 
The National Taxpayer Advocate compared Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) organization to superheroes in a recent blog post: https://www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/news/nta-blog-not-all-superheroes-wear-capes-join-the-low-income-taxpayer-clinic-community-and-be-a-hero-to-taxpayers-most-in-need/ Within that blog post, she cites the IRS has the applica…
 
The tax season keeps changing. The IRS announced that the tax filing deadline for federal individual income tax returns are due on May 17. That does not affect corporate taxes or quarterly estimated tax payments. Will it affect your state tax filing – check with your state’s tax agency. How will the changes affect tax filing? I talk through some ef…
 
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