Washington (May 2, 2003) -- The 2004 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grant application process is now open, according to National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson. Organizations providing low cost or no cost representation to people involved in tax disputes can apply for grants worth up to $100,000 for the 2004 grant cycle.

Olson sees the funding of the low income taxpayer clinics and the provision of free or nominal fee tax representation as a significant step toward a more equitable tax system. The IRS matching grant program encourages the creation and growth of low income taxpayer clinics across the nation. These clinics provide an important resource to taxpayers who may not be able to afford a tax professional.

The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic grant program, entering into its sixth year, continues to expand. In 2003, the IRS awarded $7 million to 136 organizations representing 48 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to nonprofit organizations, qualifying clinics may be run by accounting, business or law schools whose students represent taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS or Tax Court or by tax-exempt organizations.

The application period for the 2004 LITC grant program is from May 1 to July 1, 2003. Applications for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic grants must be received at Internal Revenue Service, Taxpayer Advocate Service, Mail Stop 211-D, LITC Program Office, 401 West Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta, GA. 30308, no later than July 1, 2003. The application package (Publication 3319) is available at www.irs.gov/advocate or may be ordered from the IRS Forms Distribution Center by calling 1-800-829-3676. Applicants can also file electronically at www.egrants.IRS.gov.

-- WebCPA staff.

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