Cal State Northridge has received a $58,000 matching grant from the U.S. Treasury Department to support the activities of CSUN’s Bookstein Tax Clinic and the clinic’s service in the community.
The Bookstein Tax Clinic provides free federal tax controversy resolution, or tax dispute, services to low-income taxpayers residing in the Los Angeles area. The clinic opened in 2008 as a component of CSUN’s Bookstein Institute for Higher Education in Taxation in Northridge’s College of Business and Economics.
“This grant represents an important endorsement of the vital services the Bookstein Tax Clinic is offering to the public,” said Rafi Efrat, director of the clinic and professor of taxation in CSUN’s Department of Accounting and Information Systems. “It provides an opportunity for the Bookstein Tax Clinic to expand its operations consistent with the vision Harvey and Harriet Bookstein had in mind when they first endowed the Bookstein Institute for Higher Education in Taxation back in 2005.”
Under the supervision of an experienced tax professional, student clinicians—undergraduate and graduate students—serve low-income taxpayers who find themselves in a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service. Since its inception last year, more than 80 students have worked as clinicians and have served more than 120 taxpayers facing controversies with the IRS.
The Bookstein Tax Clinic also provides tax education to taxpayers not proficient in the English language by participating in numerous community-outreach programs on a wide array of tax issues. Over the past year, students facilitated more than 40 seminars and workshops to self-employed taxpayers throughout the Los Angeles area, primarily on federal payroll tax issues. As part of their community service efforts, the students also have authored several short articles on tax issues affecting low-income taxpayers. Several of these articles, including some in Spanish, have appeared in local newspapers.
The student clinicians receive instruction on the intricacies of tax law and tax practice and procedure. The students are given an opportunity to handle various aspects of controversies with the Internal Revenue Service, including interviewing clients, preparing cases for appeals conferences and appearing at the conferences, preparing offers-in-compromise and negotiating settlements with the IRS.
For more information about the Bookstein Tax Clinic, call (818) 677-3600 or visit the Department of Accounting and Information Systems’ Web site at http://www.csun.edu/acctis/.