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Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic offers help for low-income taxpayers

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Unexpected audits, bankruptcy complications, and misunderstandings about tax law are what bring many low-income clients to the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic. The LITC staff – one tax attorney, one paralegal, and one outreach coordinator fluent in English and Spanish – helps clients understand how to handle complicated tax issues.

LITC does not prepare taxes. But the non-profit organization can help people determine what credits they may be entitled to claim. Elizabeth Wiley, LITC outreach coordinator, said that immigrants, in particular, may not be aware of certain tax credits. They also may fall victim to predatory tax preparers, who make false claims on returns in order to boost their own income.

“It’s a problem for immigrants – taxpayers get slammed a few years later with an audit,” she said.

Wiley said about 80 percent of all IRS audits are conducted via mail, and the people who are being audited may not be able to make sense of the lengthy IRS documents that arrive in their mailboxes.

“It can be hard to navigate a problem with the IRS,” she said. “They may have had a debt forgiven that was reported to IRS, and they have to pay taxes on that.”

Wiley expects a surge in clients needing assistance soon, and she said LITC would welcome attorneys interested in assisting with the workload.

”We anticipate there being quite a bit (of new clients) in the next year or so. Because of the First-Time Homebuyer Credit, there could be several exams and audits popping up.”
 

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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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