Federal Tax clinic students Vick Paul and Brianna Discenza, under the direction and supervision of Professor Elizabeth Maresca, negotiated a resolution of a case where the IRS was holding a woman responsible for a large tax debt created entirely by her ex-husband.
The Federal Tax clinic client, who lacks a college degree, married a high-level Wall Street executive. Despite his external success, her husband led a secret life: gambling away the family’s finances and liquidating the couple’s retirement accounts to support his addiction. The couple’s joint tax returns, which were marred by numerous underpayments and understatements, were audited by the IRS, resulting in a tax debt of over $50,000. With the clinic team’s help, their client filed for innocent spouse relief.
Through investigation and advocacy, the students demonstrated how the ex-husband manipulated their client and lied to the IRS. The IRS agreed to a settlement that will reduce the client’s tax liability from over $50,000 to just a few hundred dollars.