LITC Highlights: 2022

Written by April 11, 2023

The LITC has been working hard into the 2022-2023 school year. Below are just a few milestones the LITC reached in 2022:

  1. Clients – We worked on 110 cases, including 10 cases pending in the United States Tax Court, covering 154 different legal issues, and we provided 77 consultations plus 14 Tax Court consultations. Overall, we saved clients nearly $380,000 in decreased liabilities and obtained nearly $8,000 in refunds.
  2. Advocacy: We had 8 publications, submitted 3 Systemic Advocacy reports seeking IRS and Congressional changes on issues unfairly treating low-income taxpayers and we participated in the filing of an amicus brief for a Supreme Court case that was decided in our favor.
  3. Our Pro Bono Panel volunteers (including several alumni and Professor David Chamberlain) volunteered over 57 hours which equaled over $9,000 in matching funds.
  4. Outreach – We hosted 28 Outreach/Educational Activities reaching over 502 community members which included on-campus events as well as events directed to Veterans, Senior Citizens and the community at large. We also hosted an all-day conference for all of the CA LITCs which included IRS attorneys and a Tax Court Judge as speakers.

Working on over 100 cases, the LITC has numerous successes. Below are two success stories the LITC had for their clients.

Resolving W2 Miscounts

In 2017, our client’s employer submitted an incorrect W2 to the IRS, while he himself used the correct W2 to file his taxes. When he approached his employer about the error, they then submitted the correct W2 to the IRS, but neglected to submit it as an amended W2.

Because of this, the IRS thought that the sum of both W2s reflected our client’s income for the year resulting in double the income and a liability of over $8,000. He had tried to deal with the issue himself but due to English being his second language, he had a difficult time communicating with the IRS and missed the deadline to go to tax court. He contacted us when the IRS was planning to levy his wages. We had him placed in a currently non-collectible status, then we helped him reach out to his past employer and get confirmation of its error. We then prepared and submitted an audit reconsideration on his behalf. After reviewing the audit

reconsideration, the IRS removed his liability and issued him a $2,000 refund. He was thrilled to have the issue dealt with and finally closed after 5 long years of fighting the IRS on his own.

Beating Identity Theft

This couple came into the Clinic in October of 2021. The husband worked for multiple agricultural companies as a farm laborer and the wife was a part-time student who also worked as a farm laborer. Together, their taxable income was under $12,000. The IRS audited them for unreported income claiming they had earned an additional $30,000 based on W2s reported to it by an LLC. The clients had never worked for this company and had no relationship with it. This additional income resulted in the couple owing nearly $6,000 – half of their annual income – to the IRS. We filed a petition on their behalf in tax court disputing the liability and an affidavit with the IRS claiming that he was the victim of identity theft. We successfully argued their position during an IRS Appeals conference and a stipulated decision was entered relieving the couple of the liability. We also were able to set up a PIN with the IRS for the clients to prevent this from happening again