The Justice and Diversity Center (JDC) would like to recognize volunteer attorney Beth Hodess for her outstanding contributions to the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Program (LITC). Beth’s work with LITC helps the program serve low-income taxpayers who have tax issues with the IRS, including taxpayers in controversy with the IRS, individuals who have filed a petition with the U.S. Tax Court and individuals who need help in obtaining other relief for a tax obligation.
Originally from Venice, California, Beth worked as a self-employed management consultant for twenty years after graduating from the Haas School of Business. An interest in election law led her to pursue a law degree and she now practices as a solo tax attorney. In addition, Beth serves as a hearing officer on the Alameda County Assessment Appeals Board. A Bay Area resident for thirty-five years, Beth enjoys long-distance cycling and also serves as president of the board of directors of Chaparral House, a non-profit skilled nursing home. She is also a member of the Queen’s Bench Bar Association’s amicus briefs committee, and vice chair of the California Lawyers Association’s nonprofit tax section.
Beth began volunteering with JDC after taking a class from Katie Danielson, senior supervising attorney with the Homeless Advocacy Project. Beth has found LITC’s “Day of the Docket” program especially rewarding, seeing it as a “critical opportunity to use one’s specialized expertise in tax to help people navigate a confusing and often intimidating system.”
While Beth enjoys fighting for fair treatment for her clients, there are challenges to the work. For clients whose tax liability is connected to medical issues and homelessness, it is sometimes difficult to access necessary records and schedule follow-up appointments. Despite these hurdles, Beth has had the opportunity to help many low-income people navigate tax law through the LITC program.
On a recent LITC case, Beth was able to work with Covered California’s legal department and utilize exceptions to coverage allowed under the Affordable Care Act, resulting in the reduction of an LITC client’s shared responsibility liability from $20,000 to approximately $800!
JDC is thankful to Beth for fighting for low-income people and their families. Her dedicated pro bono work has allowed many clients to receive fair access to our legal system. Thank you, Beth!
To learn more about LITC and how to volunteer, visit www.sfbar.org/litc or contact JDC’s volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.