Projects, Units & Initiatives
Low-Income Tax Payer Unit
The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) provides direct legal services to taxpayers who have personal income tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service or the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Our work involves tax litigation, audits, refund claims, tax settlement, etc. We also provide trainings to members of the community, technical assistance to community-based organizations, engage in legislative and administrative advocacy and impact litigation, and work with State-wide advocacy coalitions on matters impacting low-income New Yorkers.
The LITC recently advocated on behalf of a client, Ms. M, who was facing a tax liability of over $29,600. Ms. M had obtained a divorce after leaving her spouse in 2009 following multiple incidents of physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. Ms. M had no income and had not filed a 2010 tax return, but her spouse had filed a joint return without Ms. M’s signature or consent. This fraudulently filed tax return resulted in Ms. M facing significant tax liability as a result of her spouse’s actions. LITC was successful in requesting Innocent Spouse Relief on behalf of Ms. M, which eliminated this liability in addition to obtaining a refund for Ms. M of over $2,990.
Legal Aid Society staff continue to run the Tax Law Field Clinic at Cardozo Law School, which was originally co-founded by a Staff Attorney from the Society’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) in 2014. This clinic places students at tax clinics throughout New York City and New Jersey, and Legal Aid Society attorneys teach a total of 12, two-hour seminars throughout the Semester as part of this program.