February 09, 2016
Paul Kurth, managing director of Columbus Community Legal Services (CCLS), was recently appointed to the Taxpayers Advocacy Panel. In addition, the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic was awarded a 3 year renewable grant. See below.

Managing Director of CCLS appointed to the Taxpayers Advocacy Panel, Tax Clinic awarded grant

Paul Kurth
, managing director of Columbus Community Legal Services (CCLS), was recently appointed to the Taxpayers Advocacy Panel (TAP). According to their website, "TAP is comprised of 74 members from across the United States, the District of Columbia, international U.S. taxpayers working and living abroad, and Puerto Rico, who volunteer to serve a three-year term. These volunteers generally spend between 200 and 300 hours per year on member activities that further TAP's mission to improve the IRS." More information about the panel can be found here.

Columbus Community Legal Services' (CCLS) Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) has been awarded a 3-year grant from the Internal Revenue Service's Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic program (LITC). The grant will be renewable.

This grant will allow LITC to continue to provide direct representation to low-income taxpayers in controversies with the IRS, while providing students with practical, real-world experiences.

"It's very exciting that we are going to be able to continue this clinical program. CCLS has been able to provide law students with real-world experiences by working directly with clients and advocating on their behalf with the IRS to resolve their tax controversies," said Paul Kurth, director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. "This program has also allowed CCLS to provide much needed legal assistance to lower income taxpayers who may not have the necessary resources to resolve their legal issues."

Clinic students have the opportunity to assist taxpayers with judicial review before the United States Tax Court and work to develop a taxpayer education workshop. The taxpayer education workshop covers topics such as: an overview of the IRS and Federal Income Tax systems, the importance of proper completion of the W-4, different filing statuses, dependents, deductions and various tax credits, Earned Income Tax Credit, home ownership credits, child credits and education credits. LITC supplies services to low-income Maryland, District of Columbia, and Virginia residents.

The IRS Low Income Taxpayer (LITC) grant program is administered by the Office of the Taxpayer Advocate, which operates independently of any other IRS office and reports directly to Congress through the National Taxpayer Advocate. Likewise, clinics funded by the grant program remain completely independent of and are not associated with the federal government. The LITC grant program was created as part of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.