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May 29, 2020 Pro Bono Matters

Consider Establishing a New Low Income Taxpayer Clinic

By Tamara Borland, Director, LITC Program, Taxpayer Advocate Service, IRS

As Director of the LITC Program at the IRS, I would like to invite readers to consider whether you or an organization you are affiliated with might be interested in applying for a 2021 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grant. Applications will be accepted between April 30, 2020 and June 16, 2020 for matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to develop, expand or maintain an LITC. The full announcement can be viewed here. The mission of LITCs is to ensure the fairness and integrity of the tax system for taxpayers who are low income or speak English as a second language 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 on issues that impact them.

An overview of the LITC Program and the incredible work of the LITCs can be found in Publication 5066 or you can watch a video that discusses the program and its work. Another video also provides a quick introduction to the program requirements. The complete program requirements and application guidelines are available in Publication 3319.

It is a goal of the program to have at least one clinic in each state, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Please note that the states of Hawaii, Nevada, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming and the territory of Puerto Rico do not currently have an LITC, so if you reside in one of those places, the IRS would welcome your consideration of developing a new LITC. Additional areas where coverage is needed is outlined in Publication 3319. ■