Supervising Attorney-Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC)

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Prairie State’s Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC) ensures the fairness and integrity of the tax system by providing free legal representation to low-income taxpayers in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS),  conducting outreach and education to low-income taxpayers about their rights and responsibilities, and by identifying and advocating for issues that impact low income taxpayers. The LITC receives its funding, in part, by a grant from the Internal Revenue Service (since 2011). The LITC receives its funding, in part, by a grant from the Internal Revenue Service (since 2011).

Working in a LITC can be one of the most rewarding roles in legal aid because of the significant financial impact cases can have for clients. In 2019, the LITC opened 112 new representation cases and closed 98 representation cases and 59 consultation cases.  Clinic advocacy refunded $66,862.00 in cash to taxpayers and its clients realized a total decrease of $552,301.00 in corrected tax liabilities, penalties and interest. For the first six months of 2020, that total approximated $1,000,000.00 dollars.

Common controversies handled by out LITC include: audits, appeals, requests for innocent spouse relief, mitigating IRS collection actions  (through Offers in Compromise, Currently Not Collectible Status, and Installment Agreements), representation in US Tax Court, disputing wrongful tax debts, denials of available deductions and credits (including the Earned Income Tax Credit); and tax problems stemming from identity theft, worker misclassification, and deceptive tax schemes. Although our LITC is not a tax preparation service, the Clinic will prepare prior years’ tax returns when necessary to resolve a taxpayer’s controversy.

The Clinic consists of a Supervising Attorney and a staff attorney who evaluate cases and represent clients in a wide range of controversies. The Supervising Attorney is responsible for all Clinic activities including client representation, supervision of the staff attorney, interns, and volunteers, community outreach, fundraising, training, and grant reporting and preparation.

The Supervising Attorney may work out of the PSLS office location that best meets the needs of the firm and the candidate. For a list of PSLS offices, visit https://www.pslegal.org/psls-locations.asp.

Responsibilities

Through the efforts described below, the Supervising Attorney will have a lasting impact on service to low-income taxpayers in northern and central Illinois. Among other duties as assigned, the Supervising Attorney will:

  • Interview applicants for legal services and assess their tax issues.
  • Provide legal services for clients through legal research, counsel and advice, litigation (primarily in the U.S. Tax Court), advocacy before the IRS or the Illinois Department of Revenue, and systemic advocacy on issues having an impact on low-income and ESL taxpayers
  • Supervise the LITC staff attorney, as well as recruit, train, and supervise interns and volunteers
  • Stay abreast of tax law changes and regulations
  • Manage the LITC budget
  • Develop pro bono resources to help serve our clients, educate community members about tax issues in collaboration with volunteers and social service agencies, and train legal services attorneys on the intersection of tax law with other areas in which they practice
  • Develop and maintain networking relationships with local bar associations and with local, state, and federal governments and community agencies that serve our client population
  • Track data required by funders, keep accurate records on service delivery, and prepare and submit funding proposals and grant reports to the IRS and other sources
  • Exhibit a high level of personal energy, organization, and commitment to the position and the PSLS mission

 

Salary and Benefits

The LITC Supervising Attorney is a full-time position at 37.5 hours per week. PSLS offers a salary competitive with similar organizations. Our Supervising Attorney salary scale starts at $58,000 per year for candidates who meet the minimum qualifications, and increases with each year of relevant experience. PSLS is committed to providing an excellent, comprehensive benefits package to its full-time employees that includes:

  • Health insurance, including the opportunity to qualify for a wellness credit
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • 403b Retirement Plan including employer contributions
  • Extensive training and education program
  • PTO that starts at 3 weeks/year and increases with additional years worked at PSLS
  • Paid sick leave
  • 6 weeks of paid parental leave after one year of employment
  • 12 Paid holidays

 

Qualifications

  • D. degree after graduation from an ABA-accredited law school and admitted to practice law in Illinois, or admitted in another state and eligible for reciprocity in Illinois
  • Admission to U.S. Tax Court
  • At least 3 years of practice experience resolving tax controversies such as cases involving entitlements to credits and deductions, and pursuing collection remedies such as offers in compromise, installment agreements, and innocent spouse relief. Preferably, the candidate will also have tax preparation experience.
  • Excellent attention to detail, interpersonal skills, and oral and written communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Demonstrated organizational and case management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise others effectively
  • Ability to adapt well to different dynamics within a fast paced environment
  • Previous tax controversy resolution experience preferred
  • Ability to support organizational and program specific mission and goals
  • We will give preference to candidates who have experience providing services to low-income individuals
  • Some travel is required; applicant must have a valid driver’s license and/or reliable transportation

 

Application Details

Please indicate “LITC Supervising Attorney” in the subject line and email a letter identifying your office preference and explaining your interest and experience, resume, three references, and a short writing sample (no more than 10 pages) to [email protected].

Resumes accepted until position is filled.

Prairie State Legal Services is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We recruit, employ, pay, and promote qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, expression, or presentation, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or any other legally protected status.

 

 

The Organization

Prairie State Legal Services is a not for profit civil legal aid organization that has served northern and central Illinois for more than 40 years, maintains 11 office locations, and has a staff of over 175 employees including training and litigation staff with extensive experience. Our 36 county service area includes rural communities, suburban areas, and mid-size urban cities which necessitates the development of diverse strategies and we encourage our staff to cultivate and utilize creative approaches to reach and serve our client population. Employees of PSLS benefit from the expertise and community connections of their local office staff along with robust program-wide resources. We strive to provide an array of services responsive to the needs of our clients and therefore have developed several specialized projects and maintain one of the most productive pro bono programs in the nation. PSLS has excellent fiscal controls and upholds the highest rating from Charity Navigator and Guidestar. For more information regarding PSLS services and operations, please visit our website at  www.pslegal.org.