Pro Bono Spotlight: A Tax Saving Story

Kyle Day Attorney At LawDebra Richardson first met Lane & Waterman attorney Kyle Day when he was volunteering with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at The Friendly House in Davenport where she works. She asked him what she should do about a recent letter she received from the IRS. The letter stated she owed additional taxes due to the discharge of a student loan. Having just undergone heart surgery, Debra had used her tax refund to help offset her medical expenses. She felt hopeless as to what to do.

Kyle recommended that she contact the Iowa Legal Aid office for help with her case. Iowa Legal Aid is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide critical assistance to low-income and vulnerable Iowans who have nowhere else to turn. The Iowa Legal Aid office referred the case to Lane & Waterman, and Kyle took Debra as a client. After reviewing Debra’s tax situation, Kyle assisted Debra in gathering the necessary information and submitted a response challenging the additional tax. Based on the additional information, the IRS determined Debra qualified for an exemption on the additional tax. Even better, the IRS increased Debra’s earned income tax credit for the year resulting in a further increase to her tax refund.

As a result of Kyle’s work, Debra was able to avoid harsh IRS collection actions like wage garnishment, and she was able to increase and keep her tax refund dollars. Debra relayed her gratitude to us, saying, “The most impactful part of working with Kyle was his extra attention –he called to check on me and update me on the process at every step. I am truly grateful for his help.”

Lane & Waterman attorneys provide over 300 hours of pro bono service each year. Through partnership with Iowa Legal Aid and Prairie States Legal Services in Illinois, our attorneys work with under-served clients to ensure they have the necessary representation in times of need. To learn more, visit


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