The Internal Revenue Service announced that the application period for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) matching grants for the calendar year 2023 will open on or around May 2, 2022.
The LITC Program is a federal grants program administered by the Taxpayer Advocate Service, led by National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins. The Taxpayer Advocate Service operates as an independent organization within the IRS, according to a news release.
“LITCs play an important role in ensuring the voices of low-income and English as second language taxpayers are heard,” Collins said. “The work they do is strengthened and enhanced by the many volunteers who give their time to help. I strongly encourage interested organizations and volunteers to join the LITC program to assist those in need.”
Under Internal Revenue Code Section 7526, the IRS awards matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to qualifying organizations to develop, expand or maintain a LITC. Qualified organizations that are awarded grants ensure the fairness and integrity of the tax system for taxpayers who are low-income or speak English as a second language (ESL) 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.
When the application period opens, the IRS will consider applicants from all areas but is particularly interested in receiving applications from organizations that will provide coverage in unserved areas. Presently, no LITCs are operating in the states of Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and the territory of Puerto Rico. In addition, there are a few states that have uncovered counties that need LITC representation.
Underserved Counties in Need of LITC Services
- Arizona- Apache, Coconino, and Navajo
- Florida- Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Madison, Nassau, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, St. John’s, Sumter, Suwanee, Taylor and Volusia
- Idaho- Ada, Adams, Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Boise, Bonneville, Butte, Canyon, Caribou, Clark, Clearwater, Custer, Franklin, Freemont, Gem, Idaho, Jefferson, Latah, Lemhi, Lewis, Lincoln, Madison, Nez Perce, Oneida, Owyhee, Payette, Power, Teton, Valley and Washington
- North Carolina- Alamance, Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Caswell, Chatham, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Forsyth, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rockingham, Sampson, Scotland, Stokes, Tyrrell, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne, and Wilson
- Pennsylvania- Bradford, Clinton, Monroe, Northumberland, Pike, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, and Wyoming
Who Qualifies as a LITC
Applicants must meet key requirements to be eligible for a LITC grant such as:
- Be an organization, not an individual.
- Provide representation to low-income taxpayers and education to ESL taxpayers.
- Not charge more than a nominal fee for services (except for reimbursement of actual costs incurred).
- Have an approved IRS Employer Identification Number.
- Be an organization registered in the System for Award Management (SAM).
In 2020, LITCs represented nearly 20,000 taxpayers dealing with an IRS tax controversy and provided consultations or advice to another 18,000 taxpayers. They helped taxpayers secure more than $5.8 million in tax refunds and reduced or corrected taxpayers’ liabilities by over $116 million. They also brought more than 2,900 taxpayers back into payment compliance, the news release added.
Through outreach and education activities, LITCs strived to ensure individuals understood their rights as U.S. taxpayers by conducting more than 1,000 educational activities that were attended by nearly 134,000 individuals. Some 1,500 volunteers contributed to the success of LITCs by volunteering over 42,000 hours of their time. Nearly 65% of the volunteers were attorneys, certified public accountants, or enrolled agents.
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
A complete overview of the requirements to be a LITC can be found in Publication 3319, LITC Grant Application Package and Guidelines. If individuals or organizations have questions or would like additional information about the LITC Program, they can contact Karen Tober at Karen.Tober@irs.gov.