Course #
Winter 2017

The first component of this course will feature seminar discussions of tax policy theory and the US income tax code, with a focus on income transfers such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. In addition, we will discuss the process of filing tax returns, the prevalence of income tax refunds, and the various industries, both non-profit and for-profit, that have arisen around this phenomenon. These sessions would meet during the latter part of the Fall quarter.

Next, students will go into the field, and work as volunteer tax preparers for a local, Chicago non-profit, the Center for Economic Progress (CEP). Students will be trained as tax preparers (which requires a day-long training session), learn how these services are delivered, and will also learn about the various social goals and public benefits that are often coupled with this process. Tax season begins in February, and the students can work on site at some steady frequency, (maybe once a week) until as late as April 15th, but most likely some earlier date.

Finally, students will produce one of three deliverables. They can prepare an evaluation of some aspect of CEP's suite of services, and offer ways to improve or innovate the process. They can produce a policy brief where they analyze some aspect of the tax and transfer system, informed by their experience.  Or, they can produce a research proposal based on their experience.



Students must have finished the core, or must ask permission from the instructor otherwise. There will also be meetings prior to the beginning of winter quarter and in spring quarter to prepare and match tax season.