Webinar Materials: Tax Advocacy for DV Survivors in the Context of Military Life

by Susan Mitchell, Susan Morgenstern, Erika Sussman | November 03, 2013

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Many survivors of domestic violence experience tax issues as a result of their partner's abuse. Batterers may force their their partners to file joint returns, file joint returns without their knowledge or consent, or compel their partners to surrender their refunds. The context of military life presents unique challenges and opportunities. Batterers in the military may use their military status (e.g. rank) and/or the context of military life (e.g., isolation) to perpetuate economic as well as physical abuse. We know that economic resources are critical to the long-term safety of all domestic violence survivors. Pro bono attorneys can provide invaluable advocacy to survivors of domestic violence in the military by accessing tax relief. However, such representation can only be effective when attorneys are mindful of both the safety and privacy risks presented by domestic violence and the tax remedies available. This webinar provided pro bono attorneys with the skills and information needed to provide survivor-centered tax representation, with a particular eye toward realities facing domestic violence survivors who have partners serving in the military.