December 25, 2008
ABA Tax Section Survey Shows Need to Match Pro Bono Volunteers with Low Income Taxpayer Clinics
The American Bar Association Section of Taxation conducted a survey of Low Income Taxpayer Clinics around the country to gauge their need for assistance from pro bono attorneys. LITCs represent low-income taxpayers before the IRS in audit, appeals, collection and federal tax litigation issues; their services are available free or for a nominal fee. Representatives from more than half of the nation’s 150 LITCs responded to the survey. While most reported a need for increased tax services for the poor, they cited a lack of personnel and resources necessary to manage and train pro bono volunteers to help in the clinics. Clinic staff also noted several barriers to seeking outside assistance, including the lack of qualified, interested pro bono volunteers, too little time to organize them and too few resources to provide adequate training.
In response to the survey results, the ABA Tax Section is developing an online pro bono match program for those Low Income Taxpayer Clinics that seek outside tax assistance for current and potential clients. The service will enable LITC personnel to go online and describe their needs, while allowing section members who are interested in pro bono work to sign up and locate the clinics that need their help. The section will also develop training materials to help members become familiar with issues specific to LITC clients, such as the earned income tax credit, stimulus payment protocols and English as a Second Language issues. Through its outreach to taxpayers, the section will also help publicize the LITCs and the tax assistance they provide nationwide.
More information about the ABA Tax Section and its pro bono efforts is available here. -jl
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Shared with my co-workers. Thanks!
Posted by: Tom Winter | Dec 30, 2008 2:31:35 PM