IRS Accepting Applications for 2017 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Grants

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The Internal Revenue Service announced that the 2017 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grant application period will be open from May 2 to June 20, 2016. The LITC program awards matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to qualifying organizations to develop, expand, or maintain a low income taxpayer clinic.

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The LITC program awards matching grants of up to $100,000 per year to qualifying organizations to develop, expand, or maintain a low income taxpayer clinic.

The Internal Revenue Service announced the 2017 Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grant application period will be open from May 2 to June 20, 2016.

The LITC program is 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 maintain a low income taxpayer clinic.

The mission for 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.

An LITC must provide services for free or for no more than a nominal fee.

LITC grants come from appropriated funds. Although these grants partially fund LITCs, 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) whose employees and volunteers represent low income taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS.

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 2017 LITC grants, the IRS will continue to work toward the following program goals:

  • Ensuring that each state (plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) is served by at least one clinic;
  • Expanding coverage in areas identified as underserved and in need of tax help; and
  • Ensuring that grant recipients demonstrate that they are serving geographic areas that have sizable populations eligible for and requiring LITC services.

Copies of the 2017 Grant Application Package and Guidelines, IRS Publication 3319, can be downloaded from IRS.gov or ordered by calling the IRS toll-free at 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

The IRS is authorized to award a multi-year grant not to exceed three years. For an organization not currently receiving a grant for 2016, an organization that received a single-year grant for 2016, or an organization whose multi-year grant ends in 2016, the organization must submit the application electronically at http://www.grants.gov. For an organization currently receiving a grant for 2016 that is requesting funding for the second or third year of a multi-year grant, the organization must submit the funding request electronically at http://www.grantsolutions.gov. All organizations must use the funding number of TREAS-GRANTS-052017-001, and applications and funding requests must be submitted by June 20, 2016.

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(at)irs(dot)gov.

More information about LITCs and the work they do to represent, educate, and advocate on behalf of low income and English as a second language taxpayers is available in the LITC Program Report, IRS Publication 5066.

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Maryclaire Ramsey
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