PHOENIX ― The Internal Revenue Service has announced it will accept applications for a part-year Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) matching grant from qualified organizations, in certain identified geographic areas, such as New Mexico, to provide representation to low income taxpayers and education about taxpayer rights and responsibilities to individuals who speak English as a second language.
The supplemental application period will run March 1 to April 1, 2016. Grants will cover the last six months of the 2016 grant year, July 1 to Dec. 31, 2016. Organizations currently receiving grants are not eligible.
Grant funds may be awarded for start-up expenditures incurred during the grant year. An organization awarded a part-year grant will be expected to submit a separate application for full-year funding for the 2017 grant year during the 2017 grant application period, when announced later this year.
The LITC program is a federal grant program administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, led by the 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 continue low income taxpayer clinics. The LITC program funds organizations to represent low income taxpayers who have a tax controversy with the IRS and to educate individuals who speak English as a second language (ESL) about their rights and responsibilities as U.S. taxpayers. An LITC must provide services for free or for no more than a nominal fee.
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;
Organizations exempt from tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(a) whose employees and volunteers represent low income taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS.
Applications must be submitted electronically here by April 1, 2016. The funding number is TREAS-GRANTS-052016-002. Copies of the 2016 Grant Application Package and Guidelines, IRS Publication 3319 (Rev. 5-2015), can be downloaded from IRS.gov or ordered by calling 800.TAX.FORM (800.829.3676).
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 and ESL taxpayers is available in IRS Publication 5066, the LITC Program Report.