Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Income Eligibility Guidelines

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Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Income Eligibility Guidelines

What is Low Income Taxpayer Clinic?

A Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) is an organization that receives a matching grant from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to represent low income individuals who have a tax dispute with the IRS, and to provide education and outreach to individuals who speak English as a second language (ESL).

LITCs provide representation before the IRS or in court on audits, appeals, tax collection matters, and other tax disputes. Clinics provide information and education about taxpayer rights to individuals for whom English is a second language. Services are provided for free or for a small fee. Although LITCs receive partial funding from the IRS, LITCs, their employees, and their volunteers are completely independent of the IRS.

Who is eligible for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic?

Each LITC will independently determine if an individual meets the income guidelines and other criteria before it agrees to undertake representation. In order to qualify for assistance from an LITC, generally a taxpayer’s income must be below 250 percent of the current year’s federal poverty guidelines and the amount in dispute per tax year should be below $50,000. A table showing the LITC program’s income eligibility guidelines by family size can be found on the IRS website on the LITC page.

How do I apply for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic?

Individuals seeking assistance from an LITC are required to complete an intake process to ensure that they meet the eligibility requirements stated above.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic | low income taxpayer clinic near me

If you are a low-income taxpayer who needs help in resolving a tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and cannot afford representation, you may qualify for free or low-cost assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC).

What Tax Assistance Can LITCs Provide?

LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems with the IRS, such as audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes. LITCs can represent taxpayers in Tax Court as well as with the IRS. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language (ESL). LITCs receive IRS grants but work independently to assist and advocate for taxpayers.

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Who is Eligible to Receive Assistance?

Generally, taxpayers whose incomes do not exceed 250% of the federal poverty guidelines may qualify for assistance. Contact the LITC nearest you to find out if you meet income and other eligibility requirements.

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This publication includes contact information for LITCs and is available online at: www.irs.gov or by calling the IRS at: 1-800-829-3676. For the most current information, please see the “Find your local clinic” search tool at the bottom of the LITC page at: www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/litc. Please note the location listed is the main office and many clinics have additional office locations. Please call the clinic if you would like to find out about additional locations.

What is the ESL Education Pilot Program?

The ESL Education Pilot Program funds clinics to educate individuals for whom English is a second language about their taxpayer rights and responsibilities. Each clinic participating (identified below as an “ESL Pilot Clinic”) is funded solely to provide ESL education but may also offer some limited tax consultation services to individual taxpayers.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITC)

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITC) assist low income individuals who have a tax dispute with the IRS, and provide education and outreach to individuals who speak English as a second language (ESL).

LITCs are independent from the IRS and the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS). LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. LITCs can also help taxpayers respond to IRS notices and correct account problems. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee.

Clinics participating in the LITC Program ensure the fairness and integrity of the tax system for taxpayers who are low-income or speak English as a second Language (ESL) by:

  • Providing pro bono representation on their behalf in tax disputes with the IRS;
  • Educating them about their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers; and
  • Identifying and advocating for issues that impact these taxpayers.

About LITC – litc Grant Application

LITCs can represent you before the IRS or in court on audits, appeals, tax collection matters, and other tax disputes. Services are provided for free or for a small fee. In order to qualify for assistance from an LITC, generally a taxpayer’s income must be below a certain threshold, and the amount in dispute with the IRS is usually less than $50,000. Although LITCs receive partial funding from the IRS, LITCs, their employees, and their volunteers are completely independent of the IRS.

In 2022, LITC represented 20,358 taxpayers, educated 143,260 taxpayers and service providers, helped secure $6.7 million in refunds and decrease or correct $62 million in tax liabilities. Consider joining the LITC community, made up of independent clinics who network and collaborate on representation projects, educational activities, outreach strategies, and advocacy issues impacting groups of taxpayers. Learn more about LITC grants.

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Income guidelines for using a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic

If you are a low income taxpayer who needs assistance in resolving a tax dispute with the IRS and you cannot afford representation, or if you speak English as a second language and need help understanding your taxpayer rights and responsibilities, you may qualify for help from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) that provides free or low cost assistance.

low income taxpayer clinic list PDF

What can LITC help you with?

  • Provide pro bono representation on behalf off low income taxpayers in tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), including audits, appeals, collection matters, and federal tax litigation. LITCs can also help taxpayers respond to IRS notices and correct account problems;
  • Educate low income and ESL taxpayers about taxpayer rights and responsibilities; and
  • Identify and advocate for issues that impact low income taxpayers.

How do I find out if I qualify for LITC help?

For the 2023 calendar year, the income ceilings for low income representation are shown below. Each clinic will decide if you meet the income guidelines and other criteria before it agrees to represent you.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Income Eligibility Guidelines

Income Ceiling (250% of Poverty Guidelines)

Size of Family 48 Contiguous States,
Puerto Rico, and
D.C.
Alaska Hawaii
1 $ 36,450 $ 45,525 $ 41,925
2 $ 49,300 $ 61,600 $ 56,700
3 $ 62,150 $ 77,675 $ 71,475
4 $ 75,000 $ 93,750 $ 86,250
5 $ 87,850 $ 109,825 $ 101,025
6 $ 100,700 $ 125,900  $ 115,800
7 $ 113,550 $ 141,975 $ 130,575
8 $ 126,400 $ 158,050 $ 145,350
For each additional
person, add
$ 12,850 $ 16,075 $ 14,775

COVID-19 Information and LITCs

Despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus, Low Income Taxpayer Clinics across the country remain committed to serving taxpayers and continue to operate.  To find out the current operating status of a clinic near you, we encourage you to call. Some LITCs also have operating status updated on their organization’s website, we encourage you to call or visit the organizations website.

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LITC Program Coverage | Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Income Eligibility Guidelines

The IRS is committed to achieving maximum access to clinic services for low-income taxpayers under this grant program. For the 2023 grant year, however, there are several geographic areas of the country without an LITC or with very limited coverage. Thus, in awarding 2024 LITC grants, we will strive to provide services to low-income and ESL taxpayers in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

We will prioritize the funding of qualified applicants to open new clinics or expand existing LITC coverage in geographic areas with no clinic or very limited coverage (see list below) before adding a new clinic in a geographic area that already has a clinic or coverage. Coverage of an area requires more than a willingness to accept a case from an area but requires that an organization take steps to promote itself as being available and willing to provide the full range of LITC services for that area.

HISTORY OF THE LITC PROGRAM

As part of the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, Congress enacted IRC § 7526 to authorize funding for the LITC Program.6 The IRS created the LITC Program Office in 1999 to award and administer the grants and provide guidance, assistance, and oversight to LITCs and prospective applicants. The LITC Program Office is part of the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate (commonly referred to as the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS)), and TAS is led by the National Taxpayer Advocate (NTA), who reports to the IRS Commissioner.

In 1999, the IRS awarded grants totaling nearly $1.5 million to 34 entities in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Since inception, the LITC Program has expanded its coverage and in 2023 there are 132 clinics funded with nearly $13 million.7 The LITC Program Office’s history of recruiting coupled with sound judgment in selecting federal grant recipients has fostered the growth of a nationwide network of independent organizations working toward a common purpose in their local communities.

The maximum statutory award amount of $100,000 per clinic had remained constant since the creation of the program until recently with the passage of the 2023 appropriations legislation when it was increased to $200,000. Despite the funding limitation, LITCs have consistently delivered tremendous results, new clinics join each year, and the program continues to expand coverage into underserved areas of the country.

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