MidPenn Legal Services Gets IRS Grant to Fund Low-Income Tax Clinic
|Robert B. Hamilton, Esq.|
The MidPenn Low-Income Tax Clinic (LITC) will provide free representation for low-income taxpayers who need legal assistance to resolve disputes with the Internal Revenue Service. Attorney Robert B. Hamilton has joined the Cumberland County MidPenn Legal Services Office to do this work. MidPenn Executive Director Rhodia D. Thomas says, “The IRS has provided these grants to better assist taxpayers and encourage voluntary compliance. It is a complicated area and they want to make it easier to get answers and resolutions.”
Attorney Hamilton has over six years of experience as an attorney and for the last two he was immersed in tax filings at a local law firm. He became interested in taxes in law school. “It is a universal set of rules that affects us all. I thought it made sense to learn about taxpayers’ rights and responsibilities under the law.” At the MidPenn LITC, he will focus not on tax filings but on resolving tax disputes.
Taxpayer Clinic to Handle Disputes - Not a Tax Preparation Site
Unlike Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites which help low-income families with their income tax filings, the MidPenn LITC will focus on resolving disputes with the IRS such as:
• Helping clients in disputes with IRS audits, appeals and collection matters
• Preventing IRS collection in cases of financial hardship
• Helping taxpayers obtain reasonable payment agreements
• Tax problems arising from identity theft
• Innocent spouse cases
Services will also include outreach and education to taxpayers who speak English as a second language.
Tax Attorney to Serve Five Counties
Attorney Hamilton says he enjoys the challenge of helping low-income families navigate these difficult waters. He began work with MidPenn on February 11, 2015. He will handle cases in five counties: Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry, Lancaster and Lebanon. Bob grew up in Camp Hill and lives there with his wife and their three year-old daughter, with another daughter soon to join them.
About MidPenn Legal Services
MidPenn Legal Services provides free civil legal services for low-income clients in critical matters including custody, domestic violence, housing, foreclosures, public benefits, unemployment, consumer law, and bankruptcy. Primary funders are the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN), the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board and the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). Additional support comes from local groups, private foundations, and individuals.
MidPenn receive funding from the Cumberland County Bar Association, the Cumberland County Commissioners, the Big Spring Community Chest, Friends of Legal Services, the United Way of Carlisle and Cumberland County and the United Way of the Capital Region. MidPenn also receives Violence Against Women funding through a subcontract with the Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry Counties.