Cal Poly


2018 Blogs


Don’t Pay More Than You Have To – Taxpayer Bill of Rights

It’s tax season, as usual we all want to pay the least amount of taxes we have to. This week the IRS reminds taxpayers they have the right to pay no more than the correct amount of tax they owe (Taxpayer rights outlined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights). If you feel you owe the… Read More


Get Your Taxes Prepared for Free!

If you need to file taxes, but are afraid of the costs that may come, there are many options across the country to help you avoid this problem! The IRS works with thousands of volunteers to provide programs for people with lower and moderate income, to help them prepare their taxes accurately and in a… Read More

Check Out These Three Tax Tools – IRS Tax Tips

Tax filing season is kicking off! Are you aware of the free IRS Resources available to help answer any questions that may arise? The IRS would like to remind taxpayers of three tools they may access: Publication 17, the Interactive Tax Assistant, and Where’s My Refund? on​. Publication 17​, Your Federal Income tax This… Read More

Avoid Putting your Passport in Jeopardy with the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service is urging travelers requiring passports to pay their back taxes or enter into payment agreements with the IRS to avoid putting their passports in jeopardy. This is relevant to individuals with “seriously delinquent tax debts,” generally someone who owes the IRS more than $51,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest for… Read More


Don’t Take the Bait

Security Summit Partners are on high alert due to the increase in the number of identity theft that occurred in 2017. Cybercriminals are hard at work, disguising themselves as potential clients, and in some cases even the IRS, to tax professionals across the US in order to gain sensitive information. In 2017, hackers have coded… Read More

EITC Awareness Day

This Friday January 26 is the 12th annual Awareness Day. The IRS event involved more than 540 participants and a social reach of over 920,000 last year. Supporters sponsored nearly 200 events and activities such as news releases and articles. This year, the IRS wants to bring awareness to other refundable credits in addition to… Read More

2017 Blogs


Get Ready for Tax Season!

Are you prepared to file your 2017 taxes? Do you want to avoid refund delays? This blog gives some reminders to help you get ready for the upcoming tax filing season. In order to file a complete and accurate tax return, you need to make sure you gather all the correct documents including: Copy of… Read More


Don’t Get Spooked by an IRS Scam

Every Halloween, children knock on doors pretending they are everything from superheroes to movie stars. Scammers, on the other hand, don’t leave their impersonations to one day. They can happen any time of the year. People can avoid getting caught in a web and falling victim to a scam by knowing how and when the… Read More

Identity Theft Update

The IRS has recently provided updates regarding the ongoing battle against identity theft and also gave tips on how to protect yourself against refund fraud. The results were reassuring, as there has been a declining trend in the number of fraudulent refunds issued, as well as fewer victims reporting issues. The Security Summit partnership created… Read More

Still Need to File Taxes for 2016?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding taxpayers, especially those who received tax-filing extensions, that they can still get the tax help they need to meet the October 16 extension deadline. The IRS strongly urges all taxpayers to choose the fast, accurate, and secure option of e-filing. Of the 145.3 million returns received by the… Read More

Back to School Tax Saving Tips

College is expensive. However, there are ways to help with those expenses, such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit, and other tax planning strategies. American Opportunity Tax Credit The AOTC credits a maximum annual benefit of $2,500 per student. Students are eligible for this credit if they are in their first… Read More


Tips for Teenage Taxpayers with Summer Jobs

IRS Tips for Teenage Taxpayers with Summer Jobs   Students and teenagers often get summer jobs. It is a nice way to earn some extra spending money for summer, or a good way to build up savings for later. In order to make sure individuals that get a short summer job stay on the up… Read More


Helpful Tips to Keep in Mind When Amending Your Tax Return

Taxpayers can fix mistakes or omissions on their tax return by filing an amended tax return. The following tips may be helpful. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. It must be paper filed and mailed to the address listed on the form’s instructions. File and amended tax return to correct errors or… Read More

IRS Face-to-Face Help Is Now Available By Appointment Only

Taxpayers who need in-person help from an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center (TAC) need to schedule an appointment. The closes TAC to San Luis Obispo is located in Santa Maria. All TACs provide service by appointment and they are an essential service the IRS provides when a tax issue cannot be resolved online or by phone…. Read More


Tips for Taxpayers Who Owe Taxes

There are several different ways taxpayers can pay the IRS.  They can pay the entire amount immediately or set up an installment agreement.  Whatever the option, if you receive a notice from the IRS, do not ignore it, as delays will cost you more over time due to interest and penalties continuing to accrue. Direct… Read More

Revocation or Denial of Passport in Case of Certain Unpaid Taxes

Under IRC 󠅘§ 7345, the IRS can notify the State Department of a taxpayer’s debt if it is a delinquent amount.  The State Department can deny your passport application or even retract your current passport.  If you are overseas at the time, the State Department will limit your passport so that you are only able to… Read More

Private Debt Collection for Tax Debts

The Internal Revenue Service has begun using a private collection program for some federal tax debts. This program was enacted by Congress in December 2015; Section 32102 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act “requires the IRS to use private collection agencies for the collection of outstanding inactive tax receivables.” Certain accounts, as follows, will… Read More

Tips to Consider When Deducting Hobby Expenses

Income earned from hobbies must be reported on a taxpayer’s tax return. Some examples of hobbies are cupcake baking, catering, or crafting homemade jewelry. If you engage in a hobby for sport or recreation, and not to make a profit, you might qualify to deduct your hobby expenses. When claiming deductions for hobbies, there are… Read More

Working and Taxes

Beginning a job also means that you will be paying taxes. As Albert Einstein once said, there are few things in the world as confusing as income taxes. Here are some pieces of information to answer a few of your questions about taxes. The United States has a pay-as-you-go tax system. This means that, as… Read More

Getting Married This Summer? Simple Steps to Make Your First Joint Income Tax Return

Step 1: Make sure that the names entered on your first tax return match the names and Social Security numbers on file with the Social Security Administration. If a spouse takes another spouse’s surname file Form SS-5 application for a Social Security Card, to notify SSA of the name change. Step 2: It does not… Read More

Don’t Ignore a Notice or Letter from the IRS

IRS letters can be frightening to receive, but they should not be ignored. Make sure to read them thoroughly, as they provide specific instructions about the issue and what steps you will need to take. The three most common reasons for an IRS Letter are if: You owe additional tax You are due a larger… Read More

IRS Offers to Help Students: Get Tax Information for Student Financial Aid Applications

In order to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or apply for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan you must have information from your tax return. The IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on and normally provides tax data that automatically fills in information for part of the FAFSA and IDR plan,… Read More

Bad News for Tax Criminals-IRS Criminal Investigation Releases 2016 Annual Report

The IRS is cracking down on tax criminals. Earlier this year, the Internal Revenue Service announced the release of its IRS Criminal Investigation annual report, detailing the significant accomplishments and criminal enforcement actions taken in fiscal year 2016. The main purposes of this report are to highlight the agency’s successes and provide a historical snapshot… Read More

Fraudulent Tax Preparation

In the Dallas news, a couple who worked together preparing fraudulent tax returns were prosecuted and sentenced to 15 years for taking advantage of their clients’ trust in them. The Morrisons prepared returns that showed “fictitious business losses” for clients, charging fees to get the clients a higher refund. Their business expanded because of these… Read More

IRS Releases Fiscal Year 2016 Data Book Showing Range of Tax Data, Including Service and Enforcement Changes

The IRS recently released the 2016 IRS Data Book describing agency activities from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016. This includes charts, trends, and information about tax returns filed, taxes collected, IRS budget, and enforcement, among other important tax data. Among the many features and pages on, the website’s most popular page, ‘Where’s… Read More


Paying Your Taxes on Time and Filing Extensions

It is important that all taxpayers should file their taxes on time, even if they do not owe taxes. This will potentially save the taxpayer from paying a failure to file penalty. Taxes are due on the same day tax returns must be filed. Here are four tips for those who cannot pay their taxes… Read More

Issues Facing Taxpayers

The National Consumer Law Center and the Consumer Federation of America’s annual report on taxpayer issues has outlined a few issues facing taxpayers this season: Delays in refunds for those who received the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit have resulted in an increase in “refund anticipation loans”; these are currently… Read More

8 Facts About Late Filing and Late-Payment Penalties

The IRS can penalize you for failing to file a tax return or paying taxes by the due date. Generally, you can request a six-month extension if you are unable to file your tax return on time. Here are some facts about late penalties. When requesting an extension to file your tax return, you must… Read More

View Your Tax Account and Payment History Online

The IRS is improving and expanding its services to your tax online account. Now you can view 18 months of payment history as well as your federal tax account balance. The IRS suggests this process is also safe and secure. Before accessing your tax account online, you must authenticate your identity through the Secure Access… Read More

7 Basic Tax Tips for the Sharing Economy

If you use online platforms or mobile apps to provide goods or services like car rides or spare bedrooms, you are most likely involved in the sharing economy. Here are some tips to keep in mind when involved with this activity. Taxable Activity. Generally, activity in a sharing economy can be taxable. Any payments of… Read More

Paying Your Taxes Has Never Been This Easy

The IRS currently offers several payment options for taxpayers to take advantage of at their convenience and preference: Electronic Funds Withdrawal: For individuals who file their taxes themselves or go through a tax preparation service, this is a very common method for making tax payments. Should this option be chosen, you will need to provide… Read More

Use Tools to Help Answer Tax Questions

There are several online tools and resources that are available on that the Internal Revenue Service is encouraging taxpayers to use. The online tools are easy-to-use and allow taxpayers to get answers to tax questions 24/7 while filing their return. The tools on allow taxpayers to check the status of their refund and… Read More

What To Do If You Missed the Tax Deadline

If you have not filed your return, you still can. Taxpayers who owe money should file as soon as possible. Taxpayers who will receive a refund should file as soon as possible as well; if a return is not filed within three years, the right to a refund could be lost. There is a tool… Read More


Nine Common Filing Errors to Avoid

The IRS encourages taxpayers to file an accurate tax return. If a taxpayer makes an error on their return, it will likely take longer for the IRS to process it. This could delay a refund. In order to avoid many common errors, the IRS recommends filing electronically. IRS e-file is the most accurate way to… Read More

IRS Can Help Taxpayers Get Form W-2

Most taxpayers got their W-2 Forms by the end of January to file an accurate tax return. Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, shows the income and taxes withheld from an employee’s pay for the year. If a taxpayer hasn’t received their form by mid-February, here’s what they should do: Contact their Employer. Taxpayers should… Read More

Strategies for Contacting the IRS: Be Prepared to Validate Identity

Did you know that mid-February is the busiest time of the year for phone calls to the IRS? The Internal Revenue Service wants to be able to use its time on the phones with taxpayers in the most efficient way possible. As a result, the IRS is reminding taxpayers who have questions regarding their tax… Read More

Six Helpful Tax Tips for the Self-Employed

Did you earn income carrying on a trade or business? If so, you are considered a self-employed taxpayer. Furthermore, if your net earnings from self-employment were $400 or more, you are required to file an income tax return. Taxes for the self-employed can be complex to work with, but fear not, because we have some… Read More

LITC: Sharing a Mission to Protect America’s Taxpayers

Imagine receiving a notice from the IRS that you do not fully understand. The letter states that you owe money that you are unable to afford and if you do not pay the stated amount, the IRS will levy your wages, social security benefits, funds from your bank account or even your house. The next… Read More


IRS Tax Calls, Real or Fake?

As mentioned in our previous blog post, IRS Phone Scams – Are You a Victim? thousands of taxpayers have fallen victim to scammers posing as IRS agents demanding money and private information. Prior to 2017, the IRS hoped to educate taxpayers by insisting they would never call unless you contacted them fist. The New Year,… Read More

National Taxpayer Advocate Releases 2016 Report

Nina E. Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, delivered her 2016 annual report to Congress earlier this year and she has some ideas that could significantly change the IRS as we know it today. She recommends that the IRS develops a new approach for dealing with “noncompliant” taxpayers and considers a simplification of the tax code. Olson’s… Read More

IRS Tips and Reminders for a Smooth 2017 Tax Season

The 2017 individual income tax filing season is in full swing, and the IRS is expecting roughly 153 million tax returns to be filed before the April 18, 2017 deadline. Since they anticipate receiving so many returns this year, the IRS has a few reminders for taxpayers to ensure that this year’s tax filing season… Read More

Tips On Using the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund?” Tool

If you are expecting a tax refund, did you know that you can actually check up on its status using the IRS’s “Where’s My Refund” Tool? Within just 24 hours of the IRS receiving an e-filed return, you can check the status of your refund. This timeline is extended to four weeks if you file… Read More

Who Will You Choose to Prepare Your Tax Return?

With tax season quickly approaching, the IRS wants you, the taxpayer, to start thinking about who you will choose to prepare your 2016 federal tax returns. The IRS began processing returns on Monday January 23rd, which means that it is the start of busy season for many software companies and tax professionals. Approximately 131 million… Read More

Phishing Schemes Lead the IRS “Dirty Dozen” List of Tax Scams for 2017

The IRS is warning taxpayers to be aware of fake emails or websites looking to trick them into providing personal information. These “phishing” schemes increased dramatically during the 2016 tax season and the IRS is already seeing new and evolving schemes in January of this year. The IRS has seen email schemes targeting a variety… Read More

Commonly Believed Myths about Refunds

When it comes to refunds, most taxpayers want their cash back as soon as possible.  When refunds take longer than expected, taxpayers become anxious and begin to speculate what happened to their refund.  Below are some of the false but commonly held speculations surrounding returns. All refunds get delayed. While some refunds do take longer… Read More

Use IRS Free File Software on Smart Phone or Tablets

The IRS has announced that taxpayers may now use their smartphones or tablets to electronically prepare and file their federal and state tax return through IRS Free File. The IRS and its private-sector partners who offer their brand-name software products for fee now support a new design that allows for the use of desktops, laptops,… Read More

Taxpayer Protection from Identity Theft

The IRS understands the frustration and confusion faced by victims of identity theft.  When it comes to tax controversies surrounding identity theft, the IRS is committed to resolving cases as soon as possible.  However, the best advice from the IRS is to take preventative steps to avoid being an easy target for identity theft. One… Read More

How to Choose the Correct Filing Status

It is essential for any taxpayer to select the right filing status because it can affect the amount of tax they owe each year. When filing a tax return, there are five different filing statuses where at least one will apply to the taxpayer. Here is a list of the five filing statuses: Single –… Read More

Things to Remember when Choosing a Tax Preparer

It is important for you to choose your tax return preparer wisely. Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for all information on their tax return. Tax tips to keep in mind for choosing your tax return preparer: Check the Preparer’s Qualifications IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications is a tool that… Read More


5 Essential Tips on Whether You Should File a 2016 Tax Return

Many taxpayers file tax returns simply because their financial situation lawfully requires them to do so. However, for instances in which filing a tax return is optional, did you know that it may be to your benefit to still go ahead and file the return? The primary reason for this is because you may be… Read More

IRS Launches Free File Program

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launched a “Free File Software” for individual taxpayers starting the 2016 tax year. This program allows taxpayers to file their taxes for free using a variety of industry-leading tax software such as TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxSlayer. This innovative and secure filing initiative provides tax software at no cost to… Read More

The 11th Annual Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day

January 27th marks the 11th annual Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day in which the IRS reaches out nationwide to ensure that millions of working Americans know about a tax credit that they may be entitled to. The IRS partners with a wide variety of communities, state and local governments, schools, and elected officials,… Read More

Make the Switch to E-File in 2017

Taxpayers have three options when it comes to filing their tax return: paper mail, preparation through an approved tax preparer, or IRS e-file.  Most taxpayers have already made the switch to e-filing because it is faster and safer than paper mailing.  If you have not made the switch yet, here are a few reasons to… Read More

2016 Blogs


IRS Launches New Online Tool to Assist Taxpayers with Basic Account Information

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) launched an online application on December 1, 2016 that will help taxpayers view their IRS account balance, which will include the amount they owe for their tax liabilities, penalties, and interest. Taxpayers may continue to use the online payment options available by accessing any of the payment features including: direct… Read More

It’s The Season of Giving, So Why Not Also Cut Your Tax Bills?

The holiday season is full of giving and helping those who might be in greater need. Luckily, in addition to helping others, you may also be eligible for a charitable deduction on your federal income tax return on money and goods donated to charity by December 31, 2016. Only donations to eligible organizations are tax… Read More

IRS, States, Industry Launch Second Year of Public Awareness Campaign: “Taxes. Security. Together.”

This is the second year the Internal Revenue Service and its Security Summit partners have initiated a campaign called “Taxes. Security. Together.” which features a series of security awareness tax tips, a round-up of suggestions, and a one-page Publication 4524, Security Awareness for taxpayers. These are mainly common sense tips to help taxpayers ensure that… Read More


2017 Tax Benefit Changes Due to Inflation Adjustments

On October 25, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service disclosed the tax year annual inflation adjustments for more than 50 tax provisions. The tax adjustments include things such as standard deductions, personal exemptions, itemized deductions, and other important tax changes. However, because of the continuing low inflation, the 2017 tax year annual inflation adjustments will be… Read More

Tyco Fraud: Taxes on Ill-Gotten Income

Tyco’s former CFO, Mark Swartz, was tried and convicted of fraud in 2002. The IRS has been in a long-standing dispute over the tax consequences for the $12.5 million that Swartz allegedly “borrowed” from Tyco. Swartz participated in Tyco’s key executive loan program. Loans are generally not considered gross income for tax purposes, but Swartz… Read More

IRS Phone Scams – Are You a Victim?

Have you fallen victim to IRS phone scams? If so, you aren’t the only one. For the past couple of years, scammers have been posing as Internal Revenue Service “IRS” agents and officers calling taxpayers and demanding immediate payments for the “debt” that these individuals supposedly owe. These calls have involved the threat of going… Read More

Students and Parents: Beware of Tax Scammers This Back-to-School Season

As school starts up this Fall, telephone scammers are contacting parents and students nation-wide claiming they owe an immediate payment for the so-called “Federal Student Tax” and other non-existent taxes. The scammers proclaim to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and insist on an instant wire payment from the student. Furthermore, they threaten the… Read More

New Private Debt Collection Program to Begin Next Spring

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) plans to launch a program next Spring to collect certain overdue federal tax debts using four private contractors. This new program enables these four contractors to collect outstanding inactive tax receivables. In simpler terms, outstanding inactive tax receivables are money owed to the IRS, but the IRS is no longer… Read More


Education Expenses and Your Taxes

Summer is over and students are back on campus preparing for their careers. Paying college tuition is expensive, but it is a good thing that parents and students may be eligible for tax benefits related to those expenses. A taxpayer may be eligible for different kinds of tax benefits. Here are some things you should… Read More


What Do You Need to Know About Your Summer Job and Taxes?

Are you interning this summer? Even if it’s not your first job, interning gives you an opportunity to learn more about the working world. Part of that working world revolves around taxes. Here is a list of things that you should know about taxes and your summer job: Your employer will withhold taxes from your… Read More


Paying Taxes: It’s Not a Choice

Many people overlook the importance of paying their taxes and don’t see that failing to comply with Federal Tax Laws is actually a serious crime. Tax revenue is the backbone of our country’s funding for everything from funding our domestic infrastructure to public education and healthcare, making the system unfair when a few individuals do… Read More

Reminder: You Have 3 Years to Claim Your Tax Refund

According to the IRS, nearly one million taxpayers were due a refund for 2012 that was never claimed. Thus, over $950 million went unclaimed. The 2012 filing deadline ended this past week but there is still a chance to receive your refund for 2013-2015. You can claim your refund by filing a federal income tax… Read More

IRS Tax Design Challenge

The IRS recently announced the start of the first Tax Design Challenge, a competition that is open to the public. The goal of the competition is to “find the best ideas and plan for a future state of tax administration that works well for taxpayers and our partners,” says IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. The three-week… Read More


Reflection on Winter Quarter

It’s hard to believe that winter quarter is almost over! This quarter has been busy for the LITC, we accepted fourteen new clients and saved our clients over $152,900. Of course, all of the accomplishments we had this quarter would not have been possible without our senior accounting students. A couple of these students wrote… Read More

IRS Email Schemes up this Tax Season

Consumers beware! The Internal Revenue Service reports an approximate 400% increase in phishing and malware incidents already this tax season. This includes: 1,026 reports in January, up from 254 one year ago 363 reports from February 1-16, there were 201 incidents in the entire month of February last year 1,389 incidents this year already tops… Read More

A Year in Review of the LITC

The Cal Poly LITC began in 2010 after a generous grant from Chevron Corporation and the Internal Revenue Service. Throughout our five years we have accepted over 200 clients and have saved these clients approximately $2,500,000! The Cal Poly LITC participates in outreach events, such as setting up a booth at the Farmer’s Market and… Read More


Information on the Advance Premium Tax Credit

An advance premium tax credit (APTC) is a tax credit that can reduce what you pay for insurance. When you apply for coverage in the health insurance marketplace, you estimate your expected income. If your estimate falls in the range to save, you can use an advance payment of the premium tax credit to lower… Read More

Winter Newsletter 2016

Winter Quarter 2016 was busy for the LITC! This quarter we welcomed a new Team Leader and traveled to the Tax Court Calendar Call in Fresno. You can read more about all the great successes the LITC had this quarter by clicking the link below. Winter Newsletter 2016

Tips on Whether to File a Tax Return

Whether or not you are required to file a tax return depends on several things: Your filing status Your age Your income Your dependency status For example, if you’re single, under age 65, and your income is over $10,300 you are required to file a tax return. Go to to find out whether or… Read More

Is Getting Your Refunds in Advance Too Good to Be True?

It’s refund season and many taxpayers cannot wait to receive their refund checks from the IRS. Many taxpayers eagerly call the IRS requesting the status of their return. In fact, the IRS issues 90 percent of refunds in less than 21 days. Taxpayers can check the status of their refunds online through “Where’s my Refund?”… Read More


Why You Should File Your Taxes Electronically

Tax season is slowly creeping around the corner and this may be the perfect year for you to consider a more convenient and safer way to file your taxes. Last year, almost 129 million taxpayers filed their taxes through the online system, called IRS E-File, and there are plenty of reasons why you should as… Read More

2015 Blogs


Fall Quarter Newsletter

The LITC students and their director have had a very successful fall quarter.In 2015 alone we saved our clients over one million dollars! Read our quarterly newsletter for an introduction to our team leaders and a case spotlight. Thank you to all the senior accounting students who worked in the LITC this quarter. We are… Read More


Choosing a Tax Preparer Early

The advantage of choosing a tax preparer early is that it allows taxpayers the chance to find and talk to prospective professionals before they are most busy during the tax season. Choosing early also eases stress by enabling the taxpayer to work with a professional who will aid in making wiser tax planning decisions throughout… Read More

Reflection on my LITC Experience

Through my first five weeks working here in the clinic, I have learned a lot! Working on my case, I have had the opportunity to help my client complete an Offer in Compromise for both the IRS and FTB. This has challenged me to become familiar with the OIC process and forms, so that I… Read More


IRS Warns Taxpayers to Stay Alert for Scam Phone Calls

Criminals continue to trick victims out of money or personal information through scam phone calls. The IRS warns consumers of this threat and provides advice on how to avoid being tricked. Thieves will call claiming they are IRS officials demanding the victim pay a tax bill immediately, usually through a pre-paid card or wire transfer…. Read More

Don’t Miss Out on College Tax Credits

If you or one of your children are heading back to school this year make sure to claim your college tax credits for expenses such as tuition, fees, books, and other school supplies. If eligible you could receive a credit of up to $2,500 with 40% of that being refundable (meaning you can receive it… Read More


Refection on My LITC Experience

Possibly the most important takeaway I got from my time in the LITC this quarter is how volunteering can be a mutually beneficial experience.  For me, it was a chance to apply accounting and tax knowledge that I have learned from classes to real world situations, and to learn even more about the tax law. … Read More

Reflection on My LITC Experience

As my time in the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic comes to a close, I cannot believe how much I have learned throughout the past weeks.  After just a two week introduction to the tax controversy process, I did not feel nearly prepared enough to work on client cases.  However, the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic truly… Read More


Highlights of Spring Quarter

It’s been a busy quarter at the LITC!  Here are a few highlights of events we have attended this spring:

Five Year Report and Anniversary Party

In 2010, the Cal Poly Low Income Taxpayer Clinic was founded thanks to a contribution from Chevron Corp, in addition to a grant from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate service.  It began with just one student accountant and a sprinkling of clients.  Today, the numbers have grown to 21 currently active student accountants assisting 66 active clients.  Since… Read More

Itemized vs. Standard Deduction

Although most taxpayers claim the standard deduction, all taxpayers have the option to itemize their deductions.  It is advised to take the deduction that lowers your tax the most. Itemized Deduction In order to determine your itemized deductions, add up the allowable deductible expenses paid during the year.  These may include expenses such as: Home… Read More


Look Out For Tax Scams!

It is hard not to get worried when you get a call from the IRS demanding that you owe money and will be arrested if you do not pay immediately. There are many different types of tax scams that have been discovered in recent years. Look out for the tell-tale signs of some of these… Read More

5 Year Anniversary Party

Come join us for our 5 Year Anniversary Party! Event details are posted below:

Missed the April 15th Deadline? Advice for Late Filing

While it is ideal to always file your tax return on time to avoid paying penalties, the April 15th deadline has now come and passed.  If you did not yet file your tax return during for the 2014 tax year, but were supposed to, here is some advice for your next steps: File your return… Read More

LITC Shirts

We are selling t-shirts to show our pride for the Cal Poly LITC!  The shirts will cost approximately $13 each, and the design for the shirts is shown below. Please email Polina at  by Wednesday April 22 if you are interested in purchasing a t-shirt, and let her know how many and what sizes (S, M, L,… Read More

Consequences of Failing to File Your Taxes

With April 15 approaching, it is important to be aware of the filing rules to avoid potential penalties.  Some important points about the different penalties you may face if you file or pay your taxes late: If you do not file your taxes by April 15, you might face a failure-to-file penalty. Whereas, if you… Read More


Reflection by the Creators of the latest LITC video

Cal Poly senior accounting students Jessica Wormer and Lauren Koenig enrolled in BUS 463 this past Winter quarter and worked in the Cal Poly Low Income Taxpayer Clinic as student accountants. The two seniors’ experience was unlike any other, however. As members of the Social Media team, the two were quickly given the responsibility and… Read More

Reflection on My LITC Experience

The quarter is coming to a close, therefore I am taking time to reflect on my experience in the LITC throughout these past ten weeks. The main point that I would like to drive home is that the LITC is very beneficial to the Sun Luis Obispo area. Before working in the clinic, I had… Read More


Cal Poly LITC Receives $87,000 in 2015 Grant Money from the Taxpayer Advocate Service

The Cal Poly Low Income Taxpayer Clinic is proud to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the Taxpayer Advocate Service in the amount of $87,000 for 2015. This is an increase from the $85,000 it received in 2014. With this increased funding, the Cal Poly LITC will continue to provide free tax… Read More

Identity Theft

Just this past week, the LITC accepted a new client who was the victim of identity theft. Because identity theft is a serious offense with the potential to affect virtually any taxpayer, the LITC hopes to spread awareness of this issue and provide tips on how to protect yourself from having your identity stolen. What… Read More

Tax Controversy Spotlight: Multiple Support Agreements

What is a multiple support agreement? A multiple support agreement allows individuals to waive their right to claim dependents on their tax return. The LITC has recently resolved a case for one of the LITC’s youngest clients—a 22 year old college student who supported three members of his household during the prior tax year. However,… Read More

Affordable Health Care, Individual Shared Responsibility

This filing season, taxpayers will notice a few changes to their tax forms—most notably resulting from the Affordable Health Care Act’s Individual Shared Responsibility provision. Beginning in 2014, every individual must obtain qualifying health coverage, or minimum essential coverage, for each month. Otherwise, they must qualify for an exemption, or pay a penalty fee when… Read More


Are You Eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

Workers may get a larger tax refund this year because of the Earned Income Tax Credit also known as EITC for short. But to get it, you must file a tax return and specifically claim the credit on Form 1040 and/or related forms. Today, January 30, 2015, marks EITC Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to… Read More

Tax Scams: Tips on How to Avoid Getting Scammed

With tax season approaching, the LITC wants to provide tips on how to avoid tax scams. Recently, one of the LITC’s clients was contacted by someone impersonating a fake IRS employee. Our Executive Director, Lisa Sperow, followed up with the IRS on this suspicious phone call and discovered that the phone number and name did… Read More

Tips on Who Should File a 2014 Tax Return

With tax season rolling in, taxpayers may be wondering whether or not they are required to file a tax return. The IRS has recently published “Six Tips on Who Should File a 2014 Tax Return.”  This news bulletin provides helpful information regarding general filing rules, the new 2014 premium tax credit, tax withholding and payments, the… Read More

Cal Poly Low Income Taxpayer Clinic’s Blog

To kick off the 2015 new year, the LITC has launched a brand new blog for the purpose of informing taxpayers, LITC student accountants as well as individuals within San Luis Obispo County about different local, state, and federal tax laws. Topics for our blog are wide-ranging. We plan to cover topics such as low income… Read More

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