LARAMIE – As tax season nears its peak, a new clinic dedicated to taxpayer counseling and representation has opened within the Department of Accounting and Finance at the University of Wyoming College of Business.
The Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) was established this spring under a federal grant program administered by the IRS.
The LITC is part of a national network that seeks to unite independent organizations in a common mission to provide representation, education and advocacy for individual taxpayers who are low income or who speak English as a second language. . Although LITC receives partial funding from the IRS, the clinic is entirely independent of the IRS.
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Previously, Wyoming was one of four states without a LITC. The UW clinic will serve Wyoming residents whose incomes are generally at or below 250% of the federal poverty guideline and will seek to resolve tax issues with the IRS, such as audits, appeals and tax collection disputes. The income guidelines do not apply to taxpayers requesting consulting services.
College of Law and College of Business students will partner to educate taxpayers about their rights and responsibilities and identify and advocate for issues that impact those taxpayers. The LITC utilizes an expert panel of tax controversy attorneys from Holland & Hart, Jackson, to provide taxpayers with pro bono representation in their disputes.
“Tax issues can affect anyone, and getting a fair result in an IRS dispute shouldn’t depend on someone’s ability to pay for representation,” says UW associate professor Nicole Choi, Founder and Program Director at UW. “We want to ensure that all taxpayers get fair results within the tax system and empower them to exercise all their rights, regardless of income level.”
This new program will operate alongside the long-standing Albany County Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA – a partnership between the College of Business Accounting and Finance Department and United Way – helps individuals prepare and complete federal and state income tax returns.
In 2020, LITCs represented 19,413 taxpayers nationwide and secured more than $5.8 million in dispute refunds. They were responsible for bringing more than 2,900 people back into payment compliance.
Interested customers or partners wanting more information should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (307) 766-6114. Appointments are available virtually as well as in person.