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  • OCOB - Reflection by the Creators of the latest LITC video
    on the LITC s video project From student and professor testimonies to eye opening statistics of the amount of tax controversies that have been solved to the outreach programs the LITC has taken part in we strived to create a video that truly attests to the success the LITC has achieved in the past five years Working with the most involved individuals within the clinic and getting their insight on the depth of our services was truly inspiring For example we did an interview with Brianna Butterfield one of the graduate accounting students and heard her elaborate on the extensive reach of this clinic whether it be on the lives of community members being served or the Cal Poly students who become involved in the clinic which was truly remarkable As the video documents the community benefits from the Clinics focus on representing educating and advocating for taxpayers throughout our community With this continued service all of the students are very committed to assisting their clients and this contributes to a positive influence on the community so that these taxpayers will be aware of their rights and responsibilities All taxpayers especially low income taxpayers who do not have as many resources should be informed of their choices when they are faced with hard times difficult situations and tax disputes It is incredible to see the success that many taxpayers have had as a result of the hard work and dedication of students who put forth time and effort to assist on their behalf After finishing this project the most important thing we have learned and want to spread to the community is that we as taxpayers have a voice within the IRS This has greatly enhanced both of our desires to better the community Working in the LITC goes far

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/reflection-by-the-creators-of-the-latest-litc-video/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Reflection on My LITC Experience
    the LITC is to Cal Poly and the Central Coast However the more I worked in the clinic the more I realized that the LITC is unique in a diverse amount of ways I learned that Cal Poly s LITC is the only academic clinic not located within a law school to have an agreement to participate in the United States Tax Court s Calendar Call Program The LITC is a great program as it is the only clinic of its kind in the Central Coast It is almost completely student run which provides great experience for its volunteers Both clients and volunteers benefit from the LITC because both learn together throughout the process The LITC is definitely beneficial to the community because it is one of the only places individuals can receive free tax dispute help I currently have a client that lives in Santa Barbara and have come across clients from Paso Robles Many new clients are referenced to us through other organizations This is a great example of how well known and widely used the LITC is to the Central Coast I have always been keen to volunteering however this experience was unique in that it incorporated

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/reflection-on-my-litc-experience/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Cal Poly LITC Receives $87,000 in 2015 Grant Money from the Taxpayer Advocate Service
    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 controversy representation in addition to educating individuals for whom English is a second language ESL about their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers The 2015 grant award will be divided up with 77 000 toward Controversy and 10 000 allocated toward ESL work This funding is crucial to the operation and maintenance of the LITC as all services offered at the Cal Poly LITC are provided free of charge About the Taxpayer Advocate Service The Taxpayer Advocate Service awards matching grants to qualifying organizations across the United States to operate clinics that represent low income taxpayers in federal tax disputes with the IRS as well as to educate individuals who speak English as a second language ESL about their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers Although the Taxpayer Advocate Service is a division of the Internal Revenue Service it operates independently from the IRS About the Cal Poly LITC The Cal Poly Low Income Taxpayer Clinic began operating in 2010 through the generosity of

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/cal-poly-litc-receives-87000-in-2015-grant-money-from-the-taxpayer-adovcate-service/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Identity Theft
    reduce the risk of identity theft Do not carry your Social Security card with you on a daily basis While most people like to carry their Social Security card in their wallets this is actually extremely dangerous as it leaves your social security number vulnerable to petty theft Unless absolutely necessary it is strongly advised that people keep their social security cards out of sight in a safe location Do not give a business your SSN unless it is absolutely necessary Even a business identification number is prone to identity theft Thus unless it is absolutely necessary to give this number away then be cautious about revealing even this number and make sure that you know what it will be used for as well as by whom Protect your personal information wherever it is stored It is important to ensure that your social security card along with any documents pertaining identifying information are kept out of anyone s reach Make sure that you know where these documents are at all times If you have recently moved be sure to change your address on all accounts in order to prevent third parties from sending your personal information to a prior address that is no longer occupied by you Check your credit report and Social Security Administration earnings statement annually Matching up your own account of earnings alongside important tax documents is one of the best ways to verify that you are the only beneficiary of these accounts Do not give your personal information over the phone through the mail or on the Internet What to do if your identity has been stolen File a report with the local police File a complaint with the FTC Place a fraud alert on your account with a credit bureau Close any of your accounts

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/identity-theft/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Tax Controversy Spotlight: Multiple Support Agreements
    who supported three members of his household during the prior tax year However the IRS disallowed these dependency exemptions The IRS did not believe that our client provided more than half of the support for his two nephews The IRS was led to believe this because the client did not have any receipts and paid for everything in cash Because of this he does not have any check or credit card statements or any substantial receipts It appeared to the IRS that the main provider of the household was the client s father However the father did not specifically provide support for the dependents claimed by our client which gave our client leeway to maintain his original filing status and claim the three individuals as dependents In order to resolve this tax controversy the IRS trial attorney suggested a simple solution The father could waive his right to claim our client s dependents paving the way for our client to claim his dependents via Form 2120 Multiple Support Agreement This form becomes quite important at times when not one person provides more than half the support of a person As its name suggest multiple support means that two or more people who could claim the person as a dependent except for the support test together provide more than half of a dependent s support The LITC was able to obtain an affidavit from the client s father waiving his right to claim the dependents and our client was able to attach the completed form designating his right to claim the dependents In this case the multiple support agreement allowed our client to claim dependents One of the unique things about the multiple support agreement is that in order for someone to be considered a qualifying relative the person who is

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/tax-controversy-spotlight-multiple-support-agreements/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Affordable Health Care, Individual Shared Responsibility
    an insurance company student health plan catastrophic plans or through the Health Insurance Marketplace Government sponsored programs including Medicare Part A coverage Medicare Advantage plans most Medicaid coverage Children s Health Insurance Program CHIP most types of TRICARE coverage Other coverage including certain foreign coverage and certain coverage for business owners To learn more about qualifying programs and coverage plans visit IRS gov or consult with a tax preparer What qualifies for an exemption Individuals without minimum essential coverage must either qualify for an exemption or pay a penalty when filing their taxes The following exemptions serve as some of the most common ways taxpayers may qualify Income below the filing requirement If your gross income is below the minimum income threshold for filing a tax return then you may qualify for an exemption As noted above if you are not required to file a tax return then you do not need to file a return for the sole purpose of reporting medical coverage either Short coverage gap A short coverage gap consists of three or less consecutive months that an individual went without minimum essential coverage during the year If an individual has more than one short coverage gap during the year the short coverage gap exemption only applies to the first gap Hardship If you have suffered from a hardship that prevents you from obtaining coverage as defined in final regulations issued by the Department of Health and Human Services Considerations for the hardship exemption includes financial or domestic events whether the expense of purchasing a qualified health plan would result in a taxpayer having to experience a severe deprivation of food shelter clothing or other necessities Affordability You can t afford the minimum essential coverage because the minimum amount required for the premiums is more than 8

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/affordable-health-care-individual-shared-responsibility/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Are You Eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?
    is 40 years old this year and for those 40 years EITC made life easier for millions of workers Last year more than 27 million workers received more than 65 billion in EITC refunds In California 3 1 million claims were made with a total of 7 3 billion awarded through the EITC If you worked last year and your income is less than 52 427 check out your eligibility for EITC EITC can mean up to 6 143 refund when you file a return and have qualifying children Workers with no qualifying children could be eligible for a smaller credit up to 496 dollars On average EITC adds 24 hundred dollars to refunds Why is it important to have an EITC Awareness Day each year The IRS estimates only four out of five workers claim the EITC they earned This leaves billions of dollars on the table each year waiting to be claimed We want to get the word out to those who are eligible to file a tax return even if they don t owe any tax so that they can claim the EITC It is money workers can use for groceries rent utilities and other bills EITC

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/are-you-eligible-for-the-earned-income-tax-credit-eitc/ (2016-02-17)
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  • OCOB - Tax Scams: Tips on How to Avoid Getting Scammed
    in the IRS s database Therefore we were able to conclude that our client was contacted by an individual that performs tax scams Many people pretend to be the IRS in order to scam money out of innocent people Here are some pointers on how to detect these tax scams A sure way to figure out if you are talking to a real or fake IRS employee is by the way they introduce themselves on the phone Make sure to listen for a badge number official IRS employees will always give their badge number when they introduce themselves Also when a client has a Power of Attorney filled out and is thus represented by a lawyer the IRS is not allowed to call the client directly Therefore if you have lawyer representation and the IRS calls you that could be a sign that it is a scam Never give personal information over the phone such as credit card information Things to remember Who they target Elderly individuals and people who have a lien against them When an individual is issued a lien their phone number and other contact information becomes public therefore we advise that those individuals are extra cautious

    Original URL path: http://www.cob.calpoly.edu/litc/tax-scams-tips-on-how-to-avoid-getting-scammed/ (2016-02-17)
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