Low Income Taxpayer Clinic
Helping low income taxpayers in Montana with federal tax problems.
Steve (not his real name) was a victim of identity theft. Someone had stolen his social security number and was working in another state. The identity thief did not pay taxes on the income and so the IRS levied on Steve’s social security disability income, believing it was Steve who had not paid the taxes. Fortunately, Steve contacted the MLSA Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC), which was able to remove the levy from his social security income and get him a refund of $3,600.00.
Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) ensure the fairness and integrity of the tax system by educating low income taxpayers about their rights and responsibilities, by providing pro bono representation to taxpayers in tax disputes with the IRS, by conducting outreach and education to taxpayers who speak English as a second language (ESL), and by identifying and advocating for issues that impact low income taxpayers.
LITC gives low income taxpayers free legal assistance on federal tax disputes year round, helping with:
- Negotiations or Settlements of Tax Debt
- Innocent Spouse Relief Requests
- Injured Spouse Claims
- Earned Income Tax Credit Appeals
- Audits or Examinations
- Deficiency Notices
- Tax Court
- Liens and Levies
- Referrals to Tax Assistance Organizations
The LITC does not help with tax return preparation.
LITC clients are assisted by MLSA staff and pro bono attorneys and accountants who volunteer their time and expertise. Four attorneys and three accountants were recruited to help with LITC last year, joining others recruited in previous years.
In 2017, LITC helped 89 clients, decreasing tax liabilities for them by a total of $226,353 and obtaining a total of $17,096 for them in refunds. In 2016, LITC helped 112 taxpayers, decreasing tax liabilities for them by a total of $78,677 and obtaining a total of $19,936 for them in refunds.
For more information, see the Montana LITC website at www.MontanaLITC.org.