Immediate Help Needed to File Refund Claims for Individuals Wrongfully Convicted

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I received a request for assistance from tax practitioners from the Exonerees Tax Assistance Network.  The individuals in charge of this network are trying to assist individuals who have received money in connection with a wrongful conviction.  Most of the individuals receiving payment for their wrongful conviction reported it on their individual income tax returns.  Last year, Congress passed a law prohibiting the federal government from taxing this compensation; however the last day to file a claim to obtain a refund of taxes paid for a prior year is December 19.  So, you can see why they are scrambling to find tax professionals to assist.  If you are interested in assisting, please read below their announcement of the project and contact the individuals running the project.  Keith 


Background The Wrongful Conviction Tax Relief Act, signed into law in 2015 by President Barack Obama, prohibits the federal government from taxing compensation paid to the wrongfully convicted. Retroactively, it opened the door for all exonerees, no matter the year they were compensated, to request an IRS refund of any tax, interest and penalties paid on that money. Unfortunately, efforts to pass an extender on the amount of time for exonerees to file refund claims failed to pass before the Senate adjourned last Friday (extender legislation did pass in the House). Therefore, all claims for refund must be filed with the Internal Revenue Service by Monday, December 19, 2016. 

What We Need We are seeking tax attorneys, accountants, and enrolled agents who are able to provide pro bono assistance to exonerees determine if they have a claim for refund and, where such claim might exist, to help exonerees prepare claims for refund for filing by December 19, 2016.

If you are able to help, please contact Kelley Miller

( of Reed Smith LLP or Larry Sannicandro

( of Agostino and Associates.

Kelley or Larry will connect you to Jon Eldan at After Innocence

who is working to identify those exonerees who may be impacted by

Section 139F. 


Exonerees Tax Assistance Network ETAN 

The goal of the ETAN is to promote awareness of IRC Section 139F, to help—where and if possible—with referrals to capable tax and accounting professionals willing to help exonerated persons with assistance involving federal and/or state tax-related matters, and to support and encourage extender legislation to allow exonerees time past December 19, 2016 to file amended returns in order to claim refunds for past tax periods where tax was withheld from or paid on settlement amounts received by them. Working with Jon Eldan of After Innocence, members of the Network will help—where and if possible—to provide legal and accounting assistance, or a referral to such resources, for exonerees served by After  Innocence


  1. Michael Schmahl says

    Does this fall under the timely-mailed rule?

  2. Camille Edwards says

    Does it matter where the volunteers are located?

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