The Internal Revenue Service has begun accepting applications once again for its Low Income Taxpayer Clinic grants.
The LITC grant program is administered by the IRS’s Taxpayer Advocate Service, led by National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson. The LITC program awards matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to qualifying organizations to develop, expand or maintain a low-income taxpayer clinic. The LITC program funds organizations to represent, advocate, and educate low income individuals who have a tax dispute with the IRS (i.e., a “controversy clinic”) and taxpayers who speak English as a second language (an “ESL clinic”). Although LITCs receive partial funding from the IRS, LITCs, their employees and their volunteers operate independently from the IRS.
Examples of qualifying organizations include clinical programs at accredited law, business or accounting schools whose students represent low income taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS; and organizations exempt from tax under Section 501(a) of the Tax Code that represent low-income taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS or refer those taxpayers to qualified representatives, or that provide outreach and education for ESL taxpayers.
The IRS said it welcomes all applications and will ensure that each application receives full consideration. The IRS is particularly interested in receiving applications from organizations that will operate in areas that are currently underserved.
Among the currently underserved areas are the states of Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota, along with the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Metropolitan areas include Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, Kern County and Ventura, Calif.; along with Arlington, Fairfax, Loudon and Prince William County, Va.
Copies of the 2015 Grant Application Package and Guidelines, IRS Publication 3319, can be downloaded from IRS.gov or ordered by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
The IRS is authorized to award a multi-year grant not to exceed three years. For a new clinic or a clinic applying for the first year of a three-year grant, the clinic must submit the application electronically at www.grants.gov. For an existing clinic requesting funding for the second or third year of a multi-year grant, the clinic must submit the application electronically at www.grantsolutions.gov. All applicants should use the funding number of TREAS-GRANTS-052015-001 and applications must be submitted electronically by June 20, 2014.
Questions about the LITC Program or grant application process can be addressed to the LITC Program Office at 202-317-4700 (not a toll-free call) or by email at LITCProgramOffice@irs.gov.
More information about LITCs and the work they do to represent, educate, and advocate on behalf of low income taxpayers and a listing of 2014 funded programs is available in IRS Publication 5066, the LITC Program Report.