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The Tax Practice of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
The Tax Practice of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law


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Low Income Taxpayer Clinics: If You Qualify, a Wonderful Alternative to Representing Yourself

Posted on in Internal Revenue Service

tax help, LITC, Chicago Tax LawyersLow Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) is exactly what it sounds like; a place where people with IRS disputes who cannot afford a private tax lawyer's fees can go to get the help they need for no charge. If they qualify, these taxpayers can get assistance with IRS (and related state) audits, appeals, collections and tax litigation. LITCs are also frequently resourced for taxpayers who speak little to no English, and in some locations for those who communicate primarily or exclusively through sign language.

Who Pays For LITCs?

The Federal Government provides a matching grant (up to $100,000) for each dollar spent by the LITC in its normal operations.  The grant is administered by the Taxpayer Advocate Service of the IRS.

Can You Use The Services of a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic?

Basically, you have to have an active dispute with the IRS, and have gross household income below the annually-established threshold.  This threshold is specifically set at 250% of the government established poverty level. Currently, this means:

  • Individuals must have income below $29,425.
  • Couples must have income below $39,825.
  • Families of three must have income below $50,225.
  • Families of four must have income below $60,625.

These numbers are slightly higher for those living in Alaska and Hawaii. Additional details are available on the IRS website or by calling our office.

What Issues Can a LITC Help You With?

If you have been contacted by the IRS and you don't understand what you need to do next - or you don't believe you're able to do what they want you to do next - an LITC can help. You cannot ask an LITC to help you prepare your taxes; they are a resource for those who have a tax controversy, not for ordinary forms-and-filing purposes, or other transaction-related advice. However, you can ask them about almost any matter for which the IRS has contacted you first.

How Can You Find a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic?

The IRS maintains on  line a current directory of  LITCs across the country. Alternately, printable lists are available in both English and Spanish that offer the names, phone numbers, and languages spoken.

If you do not qualify for the services of an LITC, you may receive low-cost assistance from the skilled tax attorneys at Chicago-Kent Tax Clinic. We were one of the first organizations to qualify for the IRS matching grant program for low income taxpayers back in 1998, and our attorneys have in-depth experience working for the IRS and in private practice. Contact our office today at 312-906-5041 to schedule a free consultation.


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