The IRS Opens Supplemental Grant Application Period For The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the opening of a supplemental grant application period for the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) program, specifically targeting February 26 to April 10, 2024. This initiative is particularly significant to small business owners, who often grapple with complex tax disputes and challenges. The LITC program is instrumental in offering pro bono tax representation and education, ensuring fair treatment for small businesses and low-income taxpayers across the United States.

National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins underscored the value of LITCs in safeguarding taxpayer rights and delivering justice, highlighting the program’s role in serving underserved communities and small businesses without alternative tax dispute resources. “The supplemental grant period is a chance for eligible organizations to apply for funding that can help make a difference for vulnerable taxpayers and grow the LITC presence in areas with the greatest need,” Collins noted.

With a funding period from July 1 to December 31, 2024, the grants are aimed at qualifying organizations committed to developing, expanding, or maintaining an LITC. These clinics are vital for small business owners, offering free or nominally priced services to assist in resolving IRS disputes, educating taxpayers where English is a second language, and advocating on tax issues that predominantly impact them.

Recognizing the unique challenges faced by small business owners, the IRS has expanded eligibility for the LITC grants. This includes removing the requirement for direct controversy representation, allowing more organizations to qualify by referring taxpayers to qualified representatives. This change is particularly beneficial for small businesses seeking specialized tax dispute assistance.

Moreover, the ESL Education Pilot Program, continuing from its 2023 inception into 2024, represents an opportunity for small business owners who are ESL taxpayers. This initiative focuses on informing them about their rights and responsibilities under the tax code, an essential aspect of managing and growing a business in the U.S.

While awaiting final appropriations, the IRS encourages applicants to request grants up to $200,000, in line with the President’s 2024 budget request and legislative proposals. This potential funding increase is a boon for small business owners, providing more resources for LITCs to serve their needs effectively.

The IRS’s call for applications from organizations in underserved areas, including Hawaii, Kansas, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico, is a step towards addressing the lack of tax dispute resources in these regions. Small businesses in these locations stand to benefit significantly from increased LITC services.

As LITCs operate independently from the IRS, they ensure an unbiased approach to assisting small business owners with tax issues. Organizations interested in applying for the supplemental grants must do so by April 10, 2024, ensuring they meet the electronic submission requirements.

This IRS initiative, through the LITC program, reaffirms the agency’s commitment to supporting small business owners across the country, providing them with the necessary tools and resources to navigate the tax system confidently and fairly.

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.