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Students in Oxford assist with tax filing for those in need

There’s still some time before Tax Day on April 18, but it’s never too early to finish up all those forms.

To assist during the process, the Ole Miss Law Pro Bono Tax Clinic is now taking place on the campus up until that infamous day in April. The program has now been in place for over five years.

The clinic will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. until April 6 with the exception of March 14 and 16 (because of spring break on campus). The sessions will be held at the Lafayette County & Oxford Public Library. A special session will be held on March 31 at the law school from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

John Archer, a VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) site coordinator for the program and a law student, says the clinic benefits both the community and the second and third year law students who volunteer for it.

“It’s one thing to study tax law, but another to apply it in real time when someone else is counting on you for help,” Archer said. “The clinic provides us law students with that client interaction that you miss in the classroom.  And it’s great to help people in the community unravel what can be a complicated and confusing process each spring.”

Archer added that the primary focus of the clinic is to focus on lower income individuals (less than $54,000 annually). While he and Peter Liddell are the site coordinators, Archer also credits Professor Donna Davis with assisting in the program, too.

“It really is a group effort,” Archer added. “Everyone works together to prepare and review returns, and to greet and screen taxpayers. This helps everyone get better at filing returns, answering questions, and ultimately helping the people that come to see us.  By the end of the year, it wouldn’t surprise me to see some clinic students become ‘experts’ in an area due to special issues that they had to resolve.”