News - Capital University Law School

Capital’s Income Tax Assistance Program Gets Even Better

3/7/2018  -  For some time, Capital’s Volunteer Income Tax Association (“VITA”) – which assists low income taxpayers in preparing their income tax returns -- has offered students a great practical learning opportunity. This year, VITA has become an even better experience.

Now, students will have the option of earning academic credit for their involvement in a program that both benefits the community and enhances their legal skills. And, Capital alum and tax expert Kathy Hoover, L’17, T’17, will be the faculty advisor.

In 2018, as in the past, VITA offers a real-client (not simulated) clinical experience. Volunteers will receive pro-bono credit for their work. 75 students have thus far volunteered, and 41 of them are first year students. After a short training course, first year students have been paired with experienced upper-class students, and will meet with clients in the Capital University Legal Clinic space. Client’s data are entered into software provided by the IRS which generates state and local tax returns.

VITA has been expanded in 2018 to include a for-credit component, in addition to the traditional pro-bono component. Students who elected to take VITA for credit attended four two-hour classroom sessions in January and February where they reviewed training materials provided by the IRS. Armed with that information, they became equipped to train non-law student volunteers in how to prepare state and federal income tax returns. The for-credit students also are required to prepare returns during 20 hours of clinical work to successfully complete the course. Additionally, they may volunteer beyond the 20 required hours to obtain pro-bono credit.

Professor Hoover is a CPA who earned her LL.M. in Tax from Capital. She served as the student site coordinator for VITA in both 2016 and 2017, and is currently employed with the Columbus Legal Aid Society.