Readers of PT know that Keith and I are members of the Center for Taxpayer Rights’ board of directors (Keith is the president). We strongly support the Center’s mission of advancing taxpayer rights in the United States and around the globe. In this regard, a few weeks ago Nina shared some of the significant things the Center for Taxpayer Rights has accomplished during 2022, and the Center’s plans for 2023 are equally impressive. Its work is increasingly recognized as a nonpartisan source for important issues tax administration (see, e.g., the NPR discussion earlier this week with Nina concerning the IRS not auditing the former President during his first two years in office). Today, we’re asking that readers join me and Keith and other readers who have contributed and consider supporting the Center’s important work. You can do so here.
At its founding, one of the Center’s goals was to raise the awareness among non-tax foundations and grantors of the role taxation and taxpayer rights play in the health and welfare of nations. The Center has been incredibly successful in this area. We now count the Rockefeller and Schusterman Family Foundations as funders, underwriting important projects including the two Reimagining Tax Administration series (Running Social Programs Through the Tax Code and State Tax Practices and Taxpayer Rights) and our pro bono/training coordinator. For 2023, these foundations will continue funding a Reimagining Tax Administration series Exploring The Racial Impact of Tax Administration. Further, over the next two years, the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation has committed significant funding for a project titled, Toward a more inclusive tax system: Shaping the Benefits-mission of the Internal Revenue Service. In February, we’ll be launching a series of Tax Chats! exploring how to go about transforming the IRS into a 21st century tax administration. And, we will be returning to our in-person International Conference on Taxpayer Rights, to be held in Santiago, Chile in May 2023, with the theme of Access to Judicial Review.
As important as this external support is, we need the tax profession to show its support for the Center’s work. The one area that is still difficult to fundraise for is the LITC Support Center, which provides technical support for Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) around the country. In addition to filing amicus briefs on important taxpayer rights issues and participating in high-impact litigation, the LITC Support Center also operates LITC Connect, the “dating app” for LITCs and prospective volunteers. In 2023, the Center will be beta testing LITC Connect for VITA sites and other non-governmental organizations to make referrals of their low income clients to LITC Connect where they have tax disputes. And we will be building our library of training videos and materials so volunteers and LITCs have resources to help them with their representation.
The Support Center’s mission of expanding the reach and capacity of LITCs should resonate with all of us in the tax profession, who daily see how access to representation can change the outcome in tax disputes and ensure taxpayer rights are protected for low income taxpayers. So, as 2022 comes to a close, we at PT ask that you consider donating to the Center for Taxpayer Rights and its project, the LITC Support Center. Help the Center help others. Thank you!