Low Income Taxpayer Clinics Represented Nearly 20,000 Taxpayers Dealing with IRS Tax Controversy

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Internal Revenue Service’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) Program office today announced highlights from its 2021 annual report. The report describes how LITCs provide representation, education and advocacy for individual taxpayers who are low-income or speak English as a second language (ESL).

The LITC Program is a federal grant program administered by the Taxpayer Advocate Service, led by National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins. LITCs represent individuals whose incomes are generally at or below 250% of the federal poverty guideline and who are seeking to resolve tax problems with the IRS, such as audits, appeals and tax collection disputes. LITCs can represent taxpayers in court as well as before the IRS. They also can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for ESL taxpayers. LITCs provide services for free or a small fee. They receive IRS grants but work independently to assist and advocate for taxpayers.

Thousands of taxpayers assisted

During 2020, LITCs represented nearly 20,000 taxpayers dealing with an IRS tax controversy and provided consultations or advice to another 18,000 taxpayers. They helped taxpayers secure more than $5.8 million in tax refunds and reduced or corrected taxpayers’ liabilities by over $116 million. They also brought more than 2,900 taxpayers back into payment compliance.

Through outreach and education activities, LITCs strived to ensure individuals understood their rights as U.S. taxpayers by conducting more than 1,000 educational activities that were attended by nearly 134,000 individuals. Some 1,500 volunteers contributed to the success of LITCs by volunteering over 42,000 hours of their time. Nearly 65% of the volunteers were attorneys, certified public accountants or enrolled agents.

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LITCs used a variety of approaches to successfully advocate for taxpayers. These included utilizing collection alternatives to resolve issues administratively within the IRS, litigating cases in the United States Tax Court and other federal courts, and elevating systemic issues through the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s Systemic Advocacy Management System.

How to Become an LITC

Through the LITC Program, the IRS awards matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to qualifying organizations. If anyone is interested in learning more about the LITC Grant Program, they should contact Karen Tober at [email protected] or review Publication 3319, Grant Application and Guidelines.

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