November 5, 2021
10:30 am-12:00 pm
Please join us for a virtual CLE designed for attorneys new to tax advocacy.
This CLE will examine tax debt, including the basics of negotiating offers in compromise with the IRS, Taxpayer Advocate Services, and opportunities to volunteer in tax cases.
The 1.5 hour CLE will address best practices and techniques to eliminate tax debt.
** Advanced registration required - space is limited - please click here to register!
10:30 AM – 10:40 AM: Introduction and Volunteers Lawyer Program
The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland uses attorneys for a number of projects with a variety of time commitments through their Volunteers Lawyer Program (VLP). Attorneys working with Legal Aid are covered by our malpractice insurance and are eligible to apply for CLE for pro bono credit. VLP provides a spectrum of opportunities to accommodate different schedules and different levels of involvement. This section will cover (1) types of cases VLP places with volunteers, (2) placement process, (3) and supportive services.
10:40 AM – 11:10 AM: Taxpayer Advocate Service
Your voice at the IRS: The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS. Local Taxpayer Advocate, Marlene Fitz, who started her career with the IRS in 1987, will present how attorneys can utilize this program to help their clients. This CLE will cover a general overview of the Taxpayer Advocate Service, which includes, (1) the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s role in the IRS, (2) the assistance Taxpayer Advocate Service offers, and (3) the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
11:10 AM – Noon: Offers in Compromise
A fresh start for taxpayers: The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) maintains a 98% success rate when assisting its clients with Offers in Compromise (OIC). The Clinic eliminated 2.5 million dollars of tax debt for its clients during a three-year period leading up to COVID. An OIC allows a taxpayer to settle their tax debt for less than the full amount owed to the IRS. Attorney Dennis Dobos, who directs the LITC, will explain how attorneys can assist tax clients by utilizing the OIC process. This CLE will cover (1) knowing the basics of an OIC, (2) drafting an OIC, (3) determining a successful offer amount, and (4) employing effective strategies for OIC approval.
This program is designed for attorneys new to tax advocacy.
Dennis Dobos joined the staff of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland in 2000 and has directed its Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic since December of 2013. He routinely represents clients in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service, sometimes litigating matters in the United States Tax Court and in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Mr. Dobos formerly was a member of the Consumer Law Practice Group and the Housing Law Practice Group where he developed an expertise in the areas of litigation and alternative dispute resolution. He previously worked at Ashtabula County Legal Aid and in private practice. Mr. Dobos lectured for many years at the Weatherhead School of Management of Case Western Reserve University. He was the contributing author of the Arbitration chapter in Ohio Consumer Law (West Publishing), while working in the Consumer Law Practice Group. Mr. Dobos received his law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and holds master’s degrees in educational administration and business administration.
Marlene Fitts is the Local Taxpayer Advocate (IRS) in Cleveland, OH, a position held since March of 2019. Mrs. Fitts started her career with IRS in 1987. She has worked in the Examination Division as a Data Transcriber, in Collection as Customer Service Representative, and in 2003, she started with the Taxpayer Advocate Service as a Case Advocate, promoted to Lead Case Advocate, Taxpayer Advocate Group Manager and currently the Local Taxpayer Advocate. Mrs. Fitts participates in Problem Solving Days and Community Outreach Events. She is passionate when it comes to helping taxpayers and resolving their issues.
Julie Reed is a Supervising Attorney in Intake and The Volunteer Lawyers Program at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. She assists and supervises placement cases with volunteer attorneys. Prior to joining Legal Aid, Julie was a staff attorney at Community Legal Aid Services, where she staffed legal projects related to domestic violence victims, special education services, medical legal partnerships, and the I Promise school. She earned her undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University (Magna Cum Laude) and graduated from Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law (Cum Laude).