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LITC Director Moderates ABA Tax Panel

March 17, 2020

  • Professor Sarah Lora

The Director of the Lewis and Clark Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and Vice Chair of the ABA Tax Section Pro Bono and Tax Clinic Committee, Sarah Lora, moderated a panel called “Employment Income Characterization through the Taxpayer Rights Lens” at the ABA Midyear Tax Section meeting in Boca Raton, Florida on Saturday, February 1, 2020.

The panel explored the consequences of improper classification of employment related income from the employee’s perspective and the impact on a worker who is misclassified including issues related to employee protections, wages, and benefits as well as a doubling of payroll taxes. The panelists discussed the tools and litigation strategies that are available to taxpayers, including substitute income reporting forms, worker options for employment status reclassification, and the private right of action under IRC § 7434 for false information return reporting. The panelists also looked at state efforts to make legislative changes to help low wage workers combat misclassification.

“The panel was exciting because it included a broad range of stakeholders including a state representative from Michigan, a private employment law attorney who specializes in § 7434 claims, other tax clinic professionals, as well as the IRS,” said Professor Lora.

Panelists included Omeed Firouzi, ABA Section of Taxation Christine A. Brunswick Fellow, Philadelphia Legal Assistance Low Income Taxpayer Clinic; Mari Manoogian, Michigan State Representative from Birmingham, Michigan; Sydney Gernstein, Branch Chief, Employment Tax Branch, IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Washington, D.C.; Charles Eiss, Law Offices of Charles Eiss, Plantation Florida; and Anna Tavis, Staff Attorney, Brooklyn Legal Services, New York, New York.

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