Washington, DC - The Internal Revenue Service’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) Program Office has issued its annual program report. The report describes how LITCs provide representation, education, and advocacy for taxpayers who are low income or speak English as a second language (ESL).
During 2016, LITCs represented 19,479 taxpayers dealing with an IRS tax controversy. They helped taxpayers secure more than $4.3 million in tax refunds and brought more than 4,200 taxpayers back into compliance.
Through outreach and education activities, LITCs ensured individuals understood their rights as U.S. taxpayers by conducting more than 2,500 educational activities that were attended by over 70,000 persons. More than 1,800 volunteers contributed to the success of LITCs by contributing 47,480 hours of their time. More than two-thirds of the volunteers were attorneys, CPAs or enrolled agents.
LITCs used a variety of approaches to successfully advocate for the resolution of systemic issues affecting taxpayers. These ranged from elevating issues through the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s Systemic Advocacy Management System, to contesting issues administratively within the IRS, and litigating cases in the United States Tax Court, and other federal courts. Below is just one example of how an LITC assisted a taxpayer in need:
A social service organization affiliated with an LITC referred a survivor of human trafficking to an LITC for assistance with a tax controversy. The IRS was sending notices for the 2014 tax year stating that nearly $4,000, in income and self-employment taxes for underreported wages, was owed. The trafficker had reported to the IRS that wages were received, which triggered the IRS liability calculation. The LITC called the IRS and explained that the taxpayer had been trafficked as a domestic worker during 2014 and had endured physical and emotional abuse, working more than 100 hours per week. Subsequently, based on the relevant facts, the IRS adjusted the tax liability calculation, which resulted in a refund.
The full report contains more details about the LITC Program and more extraordinary stories about the representation that LITCs provide. It also details the results that LITCs achieved on behalf of their clients.
Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List
The Internal Revenue Service’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) Program Office issued the 2018 Publication 4134. The publication contains the names and contact information of the 2018 LITC grant recipients to assist taxpayers in locating LITCs for assistance. It also provides the languages each LITC serves in addition to English.
Background Information about the LITC Program
The IRS awards matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to qualifying organizations to develop, expand or maintain an LITC. The grant program is administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, led by the National Taxpayer Advocate, Nina E. Olson. Although LITCs receive partial funding from the IRS, LITCs, their employees, and their volunteers operate independently from the IRS. LITCs must provide services for no more than a nominal fee.
LITCs are generally operated by:
- Clinical programs at accredited law, business, or accounting schools.
- Legal aid or legal services organizations.
- Other tax-exempt organizations that assist low income and ESL individuals and families.