TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Monday, May 21, 2018

IRS Seeks Grant Applications For Funding Low Income Taxpayer Clinics

LITC

The IRS has announced (IR-2018-121) that it is accepting grant applications through June 27 for Low Income Taxpayer Clinics for the 2019 grant cycle (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2019):

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. Under the program, the IRS awards matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to qualifying organizations to develop, expand or maintain an LITC. An LITC must provide services for free or for no more than a nominal fee.

For calendar year 2018, the IRS awarded just over $11.8 million in matching grants to 134 organizations across the country for the development, expansion or continuation of LITCs. A listing of the 2018 LITC grant recipients is available on IRS.gov.

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;
  • By educating them about their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers; and
  • By identifying and advocating for issues that impact low income taxpayers.

LITC grants come from appropriated funds. The clinics, 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 Internal Revenue Code Section 501(a) that provide representation to low income taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS and may also make referrals to qualified volunteers to provide representation.

The IRS welcomes all applications and will ensure that each application receives full consideration. The IRS is committed to achieving maximum access to representation for low income taxpayers under the terms of the LITC program. Thus, in awarding LITC grants for calendar year 2019, the IRS will continue to work toward the following program goals:

  • Obtaining coverage for the states of Hawaii, North Dakota, and the territory of Puerto Rico to ensure that each state (plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) has at least one clinic;
  • Expanding coverage to counties in the following areas that are currently not being served by an LITC:  mid-Florida, northeast Arizona, northern Pennsylvania, and southeast New York (not including boroughs of New York City); and
  • Ensuring that grant recipients demonstrate they are serving geographic areas that have sizable populations eligible for and requiring LITC services.

The IRS is authorized to award a multi-year grant not to exceed three years. For an organization not currently receiving a grant for 2018, an organization that received a single-year grant for 2018 or an organization whose multi-year grant ends in 2018, the organization must submit a full grant application electronically at www.grants.gov. For an organization currently receiving a grant for 2018 that is requesting funding for the second or third year of a multi-year grant, the organization must submit the non-competing continuation request electronically at www.grantsolutions.gov. All organizations must use the funding number of TREAS-GRANTS-052019-001, and applications and funding requests must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EDT on June 27, 2018.

The complete program requirements and application instructions can be found in Publication 3319 on www.irs.gov.

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