SLLS Stands Up for The Rights of Low-Income People in IRS Disputes
SLLS’ Low-Income Tax Clinic (LITC) fights for fairness and integrity for low-income taxpayers in the tax system.
We provide free legal representation for low-income people, like the Johnsons* (see below) in federal and related state tax disputes. We also educate taxpayers about their rights and responsibilities, and advocate for issues that impact low-income taxpayers.
The Johnsons were one of hundreds of families touched by our LITC last year. After Doug and Susan Johnson learned that two of their nieces were being abused and neglected, they decided to take custody of the girls to give them a safe and loving home. When they filed their taxes, the IRS refused to recognize the girls as their dependents. The IRS’ decision significantly increased the amount of taxes the Johnsons would owe since they would no longer qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). With few resources and limited income, the Johnsons could not afford the extra cost. They tried to fight the IRS on their own in Tax Court. But the court rules were complicated and confusing. After the Johnsons filed incorrect documents, they were in danger of the court dismissing their claim. Then they came to our LITC for help. We filed new documents and submitted evidence that the Johnsons had legal custody of their nieces. After SLLS’ intervention, the IRS overturned its decision and granted the Johnsons nearly $9000 in much-needed EITC.
Check out the LITC brochure to learn more about LITC’s services.
*Names and other details of this story were changed to protect the identity of our clients.