About the Louisiana Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (FAQ)
Authored By: Southeast Louisiana Legal Services
Information -- Learn more about the Louisiana Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic
LOUISIANA LOW-INCOME TAXPAYER CLINIC
CALL 504-529-1000, ext 225
or toll-free at 877-521-6242, ext 225
What is the Louisiana Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic? +
- The Clinic offers FREE legal help for federal tax problems.
- The Clinic is part os Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (SLLS) but serves clients from all parts of Louisiana.
- The Clinic is independent of the Interal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR).
Who does the Clinic 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 do I apply for the Clinic's help? +
- Call Southeast Louisiana Legal Services (New Orleans) at (504) 529-1000, ext. 225 and tell the intake staff 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.
What should I prepare in advance? +
Before calling, please gather:
- Any tax notices
- letters or bills from the IRS or Tax Court
- Tax returns for the years in question or under review
- Information on your current income and expenses
What specific services does the Clinic provide? +
- Help with IRS audits and exams
- Fight and appeal Earned Income Credit (EIC) 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 pack your part of the tax refund if kept by the IRS for your spouse's debt (Injured Spouse Claims)
How can the Clinic help with 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.
How can the Clinic help with 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.
How can the Clinic help with 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.
How can the Clinic help with 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.
Can the Clinic help me if I 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.
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.