Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) in the United States helped almost 20,000 taxpayers in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service in 2015, eliminating more than USD64m in tax liabilities, penalties, and interest.
The LITCs, which provide representation, education, and advocacy for taxpayers who are low income or speak English as a second language (ESL), provided consultation and advice to 18,810 taxpayers in 2015, helping to secure more than USD4.3m in tax refunds in the process, according to new IRS data.
LITCs are generally operated by clinical programs at accredited law, business, or accounting schools; legal aid or legal services organizations; or other tax-exempt organizations that assist low income and ESL individuals and families. The grant program is administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS.
The IRS awards matching grants of up to USD100,000 per year to qualifying organizations to develop, expand, or maintain an LITC. 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 conducted over 3,000 educational activities attended by over 78,000 persons in 2015. Overall, more than 1,800 volunteers contributed to the work of the LITCs.