IRS accepting applications for 2021 grants for Low Income Taxpayer Clinics

30 Apr 2020 1:39 PM | Anonymous

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today announced that the application period for Low Income Taxpayer Clinic grants for calendar year 2021 will run from April 30, 2020, to June 16, 2020.

The LITC Program is a federal grant program administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, which is led by National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins. 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 an LITC. An LITC must provide services for free or for no more than a nominal fee.

The IRS welcomes all applications and will ensure that each application receives due consideration. The IRS is committed to achieving maximum access to representation for low income taxpayers under the terms of the LITC Program.

In awarding LITC grants for calendar year 2021, the IRS will continue to work toward the following program goals:

  • Obtaining coverage for the states of Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the territory of Puerto Rico to ensure that every state (plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) has at least one clinic;
  • Expanding coverage to counties in the following high-need areas that are currently not being served by an LITC:  central Arizona, Kern County, California, mid-Florida and the eastern coast, southeast New York, and northeast Pennsylvania. For a complete list of counties see the 2021 Grant Application Package and Guidelines, Publication 3319; and
  • Ensuring that grant recipients demonstrate they are serving geographic areas that have sizable populations eligible for and requiring LITC services.

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;
  • Educating them about their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers; and
  • Identifying and advocating on issues that impact them.

LITC grants are funded by federal appropriations. 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 IRC Section 501(a) whose employees and volunteers represent or refer for representation low income taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS.

The IRS is authorized to award a multi-year grant not to exceed three years. For an organization not currently receiving a grant for 2020, an organization that received a single-year grant for 2020, or an organization whose multi-year grant ends in 2020, the organization must submit a full grant application electronically. For an organization currently receiving a grant for 2020 that is requesting funding for the second or third year of a multi-year grant, the organization must submit a request for continued funding electronically. All organizations must use the funding number of TREAS-GRANTS-052021-001. Applications and requests for continued funding must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on June 16, 2020.

The complete program requirements and application instructions can be found in Publication 3319. The LITC Program Office will conduct a teleconference training session on the 2021 full grant application process and requirements on May 12, 2020, from 1 - 2:30 p.m. Eastern time. Teleconference dial-in information and presentation materials will be posted on May 11, 2020. No registration is necessary.

Questions about the LITC Program or grant application process can sent by email to LITCProgramOffice@irs.gov.

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