About the Louisiana Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic

Authored By: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services

Information -- Learn more about the Louisiana Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic



CALL 504-529-1000, ext 225

or toll-free at 877-521-6242, ext 225


FREE legal help for federal tax problems

Louisiana residents may get FREE legal help with federal tax problems from the Louisiana Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC).  This Clinic is part of Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) but serves clients from all parts of Louisiana.

The Clinic is independent of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR).

All conversations with our attorneys and staff are confidential.


Who can we help?

The Clinic serves low-income taxpayers who live in any parish in Louisiana and who have disputes with the IRS.  If you cannot afford a lawyer to help you with your tax issues, call and see if you are eligible for free services from the Clinic.


How to apply for our legal help

Call Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (New Orleans) at (504) 529-1000, ext. 225 and tell the intake staff that you have a federal tax problem. If calling long distance, you may call toll free at 877-521-6242, ext. 233.  The intake staff will ask about the members of your household and the household income, in order to determine whether you are eligible for the Clinic’s free services.


How to be ready for your interview

Gather these documents when calling us for assistance:

Any tax notices, letters or bills from the IRS or Tax Court

Your tax returns for the years in question or under review

Information on your current income and expenses.


Don't be afraid of the IRS-Fight for your rights

Tax problems often have important deadlines that must be met.  You can lose important legal rights if you ignore your IRS notices or wait too long. 

Your problems won't go away by ignoring the IRS. They will only get worse. Seek help to work out your tax problems NOW. You may have more choices than you think.


What can we help with?

Below is a list of some, but not all, services we provide:


Help with IRS audits and exams

Fight and appeal Earned Income Credit denials

Help you get or sue for tax refunds

Represent people in Tax Court

Work out collection alternatives for tax debt.

Help eligible taxpayers settle their tax debts with an Offer in Compromise

Reduce or stop levies ("garnishments")

Get relief from joint tax return debt (Innocent Spouse Relief)

Get back your part of the tax refund if kept by the IRS for your spouse's debt (Injured Spouse Claims)


More information on many of these tax problems can be found below:


IRS exams or audits

Did you get a letter from the IRS telling you that your tax return is being examined? If you are low-income, the letter usually says that the IRS is reviewing your Earned Income Credit, filing status, dependency exemptions and child tax credits.

We can tell you if the IRS is wrong. (They are often wrong on Earned Income Credit issues). We can help you:

Get the evidence you need to support your tax refund or claim

Ask the IRS to change its decision.


Deficiency Notices

Did you get a notice from the IRS that there is a "deficiency" in your taxes?

This means the IRS has found that you owe taxes. The IRS will try to collect the taxes from you unless you take action.  IRS collection actions can include seizing bank accounts, garnishing wages or Social Security benefits, and filing liens against you.  Speak with an attorney to learn about your options.


Innocent Spouse Relief

Did you get a bill or letter from the IRS for taxes on money that your spouse or ex-spouse made?

Do you think it would be unfair to make you pay your spouse's taxes?

You may qualify for innocent spouse relief. We can help you figure out whether you can get this relief and help you apply.


Injured Spouse Claims

Did the IRS take your tax refund to pay a debt your spouse had before you were married?

The IRS often takes tax refunds for a spouse's debts for taxes, school loans, federal benefits overpayments and child support.

If you filed a joint return and had your own income, you may have a right to some of the refund.

We can help you file an injured spouse claim to get part of the refund.  If the IRS wrongly denies your claim, we can help you fight it.


Didn't file past tax returns?

The IRS often requires taxpayers to file past due tax returns before they will work with you.  We can help you get into filing compliance.


Employee or Independent Contractor?

Did your employer give you a Form 1099 instead of a Form W-2?

If you got a Form 1099, this means that your employer is treating you as an independent contractor, not as an employee.  Form 1099 income usually does not have required taxes deducted from it.  We can help you determine whether you should be receiving 1099 income and if so, how to pay your taxes yourself.




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