Prospective Clients

Who Can Become a Client

You may be eligible for representation if you meet both of the following requirements:

  • The amount the IRS says you owe is $50,000 per tax year or less.
  • Your household’s total income does not exceed 250 percent of the federal poverty guidelines (refer to chart below).

Please consult the chart below to see if your income might qualify you for representation

 Size of Family Unit

 2019 Income Ceiling

 48 Contiguous States, Puerto Rico, and D.C.

















For each additional person, add $11,050

Fill out our Client Intake form. Please be advised that completion of the intake form does not commensurate acceptance of the clinic. You will not become a client until after you are contacted by an employee of the clinic. All accepted clients of the Cal Poly LITC must have a completed Form 2848 and have received a client engagement letter formally accepting you as a client. If you feel more comfortable giving your information over the phone or do not have access to a computer/email, please call us toll-free at (877) 318-6772. Note: the LITC cannot help you file your taxes. For ways to file your taxes and help, see the Cal Poly VITA web site.

Types of Cases We Handle

LITC tax controversy services include:

  • Representation relating to a dispute involving an IRS account, collection, examination, or Appeals Office matter or a federal tax matter in federal courts, including the U.S. Tax Court.
  • Assistance to a victim of identity theft on a federal tax matter, or a state tax matter (but only when the clinic is representing that taxpayer in a federal tax controversy).
  • Preparation of an amended return, if necessary to resolve a controversy for which the clinic is representing a taxpayer.
  • Representation in a state or local tax controversy, when the clinic is representing that taxpayer in a federal tax controversy.

How much it Costs

We do not charge qualified clients for our services, Cal Poly LITC is a pro bono service. However, if accepted as a client you may need to pay for incidental expenses during representation such as mailing costs, filing fees, and copying expenses.


Information sent by potential or current clients is confidential to the client, and as such will not be shared with any third parties outside of the Cal Poly LITC or others unless they have signed an explicit confidentiality agreement. It is solely for the use of the intended recipient(s). Unauthorized reception, interception, review, use or disclosure  of information is prohibited and may violate applicable laws such as the Privacy Act of 1974.

Client Success Stories

  • Our client was a college student who owed over $17,000 to the IRS. His tax liability came from a college fund his grandmother set up for him. The student never saw a dime of the money in his college fund because he released the total amount in the account to his parents in order to save his family’s home. The student relies on limited support from his family for basic living expenses and grants for tuition and textbooks and had no funds to pay off his tax liability. He was extremely confused and upset about the amount he owed to the IRS for income he never received. The LITC submitted an OIC and solved his IRS liability for $50. He graduated college with no outstanding tax liabilities and is ready for a fresh start.


  • Our senior citizen client used to practice law and suffers from severe medical hardships. He had liabilities, interest and penalties totaling almost $90,000 to the IRS and over $12,000 to the CA Franchise Tax Board. These liabilities, along with his bank account and social security benefits being levied on multiple times, caused him great emotional and physical strain, worsening his health. After working on his case for several years, we settled his IRS liability for $50 and FTB liability for $150. The wonderful results of his case inspired him to take a job with a non-profit organization that helps people obtain social security benefits that have been levied. At the close of his case he wrote, “This form gives me one more chance to thank you and your staff for the amazing results we achieved with my dual IRS and California FTB tax issues. At every step of this arduous, nearly 2-year process, my case was handled with incredible diligence, competency and compassion.”


  • Our client is a single mother of four and works part-time at her local elementary school cafeteria. She was the victim of domestic violence for many years. When her abusive husband passed away several years ago, she found herself facing a $143,200 liability with the IRS for two years related to his sole proprietorship. She had no involvement in running the business or any of the household finances and risked inciting her husband’s anger if she asked about them. One of the years they had filed a joint return, the other year was based on a substitute for return the IRS had filed. We used innocent spouse relief for the year with the joint return and a request for equitable relief for the other year. After three years of ups and downs and help from the Taxpayer Advocate Service, the IRS wiped out all of her liability for both years and sent her a check for $16,900 as a refund for the offsets the IRS had taken against her over the years. This more than she earns annually! Needless to say she was thrilled and so are we!