Edinburgh Law School has opened a Tax Clinic: Find out more and get involved
Edinburgh Law School has opened a Tax Clinic – Charlotte Barbour encourages Members to find out more and get involved.
In September 2021, a tax clinic was opened in Edinburgh Law School and this brings additional pro bono income tax advice to low-income individuals based in Scotland. There has been a high demand for the service. The Edinburgh Law School has asked if any Chartered Accountants would be willing to support the clinic in the dual role as TaxAid volunteer and student mentor.
Tax Clinics supported by TaxAid
Since March 2020, Lancaster University, University of Central Lancashire and the University of Manchester have partnered with TaxAid. For the past 18 months or so, the North West Tax Clinic has been staffed by students and professional volunteers to provide free income tax advice to low-income individuals.
The Edinburgh Clinic service
The student-led service sees volunteer third and final year undergraduate law students answer a dedicated TaxAid telephone helpline as Scotland’s first outreach branch of TaxAid’s services. After consultation the students provide either a letter of advice to the client or arrange a face-to-face meeting to collect further details under supervision. The service is provided by the students under the expert supervision of local, practicing tax professionals.
For the students, the opportunity to assist with tax problems improves their understanding of tax and their professional skills. For the mentors, it offers an opportunity to give back and to encourage students to consider joining the tax profession.
The Edinburgh Clinic would welcome the input of ICAS Members. The time commitment is flexible (around a couple of hours a week) and supervision can be provided on a fully virtual basis. The clinic runs during the academic term (September to March) and is held on Fridays (between 9am and 4pm).
The students remain the responsibility and liability of the university and TaxAid provides PI insurance to any supervisors involved in the clinic (so your own individual insurance is not a necessity).
If you are interested in exploring the opportunity, please contact Dr Amy Lawton (firstname.lastname@example.org).