Office and Computer Access
You are welcome to access the Clinic anytime that the Law Library is open, including in the evenings and on weekends. Whenever the Law Library is closed you will be unable to access the Clinic.
Access to the Clinic is provided by swiping your Panther Card in the swipe reader at the front door or checking with the College’s front desk security. The key chain located in the Clinic locker has a key that opens the student work rooms, the GRA office, and the supply room (Room 17). Access to the file room (17A) is by a separate key.
If you are the last person to leave the Clinic, close all doors to the student work rooms, the GRA office, the file room (17A) and the supply room (Room 17), making sure the doors are locked. Turn off the top burner of the coffee maker and turn off any space heaters. You do not need to turn off lights because they are on motion sensors. Do not turn off the copier, computers, or other equipment. Access the Clinic computers with your Campus ID and Password. If you’ve never logged into a computer in the College, stop by the Law Library and request a Login ID. When you leave the Clinic for the day, logout and restart your computer. The computers must remain on.
Always return the Clinic key to the Clinic locker. If you don’t remember the locker combination, or the lock won’t open for some reason, turn the key in at the College’s front security desk and leave a message on the Clinic number: 404-413-9230.
Please keep the Clinic offices in an orderly state. Avoid leaving personal items, such as books and other materials, in your Clinic workspace. If you do, please place them in a drawer or under the cabinets. All food items must be placed in the copy room trash container.
If you expect to be out of the office for more than a couple of days, please inform the Administrative Coordinator.
Telephone Usage, Equipment
Please do not use Clinic phones for personal calls if to do so would disturb another student working in the same office. Do not use Clinic copiers, other equipment, supplies or other resources for non-clinic purposes. If you have problems with any office equipment or if you need supplies, please let the Administrative Coordinator or one of the Clinic directors know immediately.
It is recommended that you use the Clinic’s phones to contact clients. If you do contact a client from your personal phone, block your name and number by pressing *67 before placing the call. Likewise, avoid contacting clients using your personal e-mail. The Clinic as an e-mail account through which you can communicate with the clients. You will be provided that information at the first class.
Handling Client Documents
Client documents must be kept secure at all times, even in the tax clinic offices. They should not be left on worktables, copiers, printers, etc… When they are not being actively worked on they should be placed in the client file and locked in the file cabinet. When leaving the tax clinic offices for more than a few minutes, return client files to the file cabinet. (See “Confidentiality”, found elsewhere on this website)
When no longer needed, all documents containing a client’s personal and confidential information should be destroyed by shredding. In addition to the shredders located in each student workroom that are suitable for shredding a few pages, a shredding box is located in the copy room for a large quantity of shredding.
The tax clinic has a secure lock box located behind the security desk at the College’s security desk. The lock box is for the convenience of clients and others who drop off documents when the clinic is not open. The administrative coordinator and clinical directors check the box frequently, and the key for the lock box is on the ring with the keys to the file storage room.
(This section is to be read in conjunction with “File Maintenance” found elsewhere on this web site.)
Almost all correspondence sent to the IRS must be sent via UPS. This is necessary in order to confirm the date of mailing. UPS packages should be ready to ship no later than 2:30 p.m. of the day to be sent. The Administrative Coordinator will prepare the shipping label. The confirmation then must be attached to the document mailed and included in the client’s file. It is the responsibility of the student attorney to ensure that all documents are timely mailed.
To fax documents, use the fax machine in the copy room or E-fax from one of the computers in the student workrooms.
To fax documents from the fax machine in the copy room (404-413-9229):
- Place the document face down,
- Either dial 9-(1 if long distance) then the receiving fax number or, if the document is sent to the CAF unit, touch the pre-set button (01).
- A successfully sent fax will receive a confirmation that the fax was successfully sent. It will display ‘OK’ next to results. All confirmations must be attached to the back of the related document and included in the client’s file.
- If the fax did not go through successfully there will also be a confirmation sheet either saying ‘Busy/NoResponse’ or ‘NG’ for ‘Poor line condition’
To e-Fax, the document must first be scanned and saved to the client’s file;
- If using the copier/printer/scanner in the copy room, you can scan it directly to the ‘I’ drive into the folder labeled ‘TaxScan’ linked to the copier’s Address Book. From there you would move the document into the client’s folder.
- If scanning from one of the work rooms, you can scan and save it directly into the client’s folder on the ‘I’ drive.
After the document is scanned and saved:
- Login to the Clinic’s G-mail account. (All faxes must be generated from this G-mail account.)
- If faxing a POA or a revocation of a POA to the IRS, address the e-mail to “firstname.lastname@example.org”
- In the reference line enter the client’s full name,
- If faxing a document to someone else, send it to the addressee’s fax machine number. If the fax machine is shared, use the addressee’s name and then the fax number. For example: “Smith.email@example.com” (dashes are permitted to be used),
- A message can be added to the emails. The return fax number that the addressee will see is 855-574-8214.
- Hit “send.”
- Delete the email from the G-Mail account.
- Once the fax has gone through successfully, a confirmation e-mail will be received. The confirmations can come in batches. If the fax were not to the IRS, find the confirmation of the fax that you sent yours, open it, click on the drop-down arrow to the right and you will be able to print it individually. Scan it, attach it to the document, and save it to the client’s electronic file on the “I” drive.
(This section is to be read in conjunction with File Maintenance found elsewhere on this web site.)
All correspondence should be on Clinic letterhead. All significant correspondence, other than form letters, must be reviewed by the Associate Director prior to being mailed. Always include a business reply mail envelope when sending something for the client to return to you. Seal the envelope and place it in the “Outgoing Mail” box for mailing located in the GRA room.
(This section is to be read in conjunction with File Maintenance found elsewhere on this web site.)
The Clinic has an e-mail account on G-mail for your use. Do not use your personal e-mail to communicate with clients or third-parties. Instructions and the password will be distributed at the beginning of each semester. The administrative staff will also check the G-mail account several times a day. However, you should also check it when you are in the Clinic for mail related to one of your cases.
In most circumstances, you should not send confidential client information by email. However, there may be occasions when you may need to send out a draft document (such as to a client for review). When you do so, convert the document to a PDF before sending it and otherwise eliminate metadata from the electronic document.
Document Review Procedures
The Clinic Director reviews documents prior to them being sent to the IRS or Tax Court. These documents include petitions, the briefs that accompany Offers in Compromise, appeals notebooks, audit reconsiderations, refund claims, innocent spouse relief requests, and other similar documents. Following the Clinic Director’s review, most documents are also reviewed by one of the Assistant Directors and the Associate Director. You should allow enough time (about three weeks) for review and revision prior to the due date for submitting these documents. Documents sent to the Clinic Director should have on the e-mail subject line the student’s first name, then an underscore and the client’s last name (e.g., Tom_Smith). The file name also should be labeled the same way.
Eliminating Metadata from Electronic Documents
Sending electronic files by email may compromise the confidentiality of client information. Metadata is information stored in an electronic document. Examples of metadata include the author of a document, the date when a photograph was taken, or the comments to a Word document. Because this information is contained in the electronic file, it can be transmitted to a third party when the document is attached to an email. In some cases, metadata may disclose confidential information. Convert the file to PDF format to reduce the possibility of sending metadata.
How to Protect Metadata
You should take steps to ensure that confidential metadata is not provided to a third party. The only guaranteed way is to print a paper copy. When an electronic document must be used, there two options for removing metadata:
- Print a paper copy and scan to PDF (the copy machines will scan and email a PDF to you).
- Scrub the data from the file. In Microsoft Word, remove the metadata by clicking on File -> Info -> Prepare for Sharing -> Inspect Document. In the pop-up window, click the Inspect button, and then click the Remove All buttons for each category. More information is available from Microsoft.