Federal Taxes

Through its Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, PLA provides legal advice and representation in a variety of federal tax matters.

Is the IRS asking you to prove certain items on your return? PLA can assist with:

  • Audits and Examinations

Do you disagree with the amount of tax that the IRS is saying you will owe?  PLA can assist with:

  • U.S. Tax Court Litigation
  • Audit Reconsiderations

Do you already owe taxes that you cannot afford to pay?  PLA can assist with:

  • Levies (IRS taking money from your wages or Social Security benefits?)
  • Liens on your real estate?
  • Cancellation of Debt Income
  • Collection Issues, including Offers-in-Compromise, Installment Agreements, and Currently Not Collectible Status

PLA does not prepare tax returns.  For assistance with tax return preparation, please see the IRS list of free tax preparation sites.  Before you choose to use a paid tax preparer, please read our guide, Choosing a Paid Tax Preparer.

If your tax problem concerns the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), please see our separate page on the Earned Income Tax Credit.

If you have an issue involving Pennsylvania or City of Philadelphia tax issues, see Non-Federal Taxes.  For legal issues involving taxes on your home, see Real Estate Taxes

In accordance with federal law and Internal Revenue Service policy, Philadelphia Legal Assistance is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.  To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Operations Director-Civil Rights Division, Internal Revenue Service-Room 2413, 1111 Constitution Avenue-NW, Washington, DC 20224 or e-mail them at edi.civil.rights.division@irs.gov.

How to get help with Federal Taxes

The following departments at PLA provide legal assistance with Federal Taxes:

Intake Procedure:

Applicants may apply for assistance from the LITC by calling the telephone intake line or applying online.

Self-Help Resources

IRS Myths and Facts

Many people who owe federal taxes feel afraid of the IRS. This flyer provides accurate information about what the IRS will and won't do if you have a tax debt.

Misclassification: Were You Paid in Cash, or Given a 1099 Instead of a W-2?

Misclassification is when an employer wrongly calls their worker an "independent contractor" and gives them a Form 1099 (with no taxes withheld) instead of a Form W-2 (with taxes withheld) even though the worker is really  an employee. When workers are misclassified as independent contractors, they owe more in Social Security and Medicare taxes than they should and they lose out on key benefits employees enjoy (such as minimum wage and overtime pay).

Responding to an IRS Audit If You Claimed Kids on Your Taxes

This flyer provides information about how to respond if you are being audited by the IRS and claimed children on your tax return.

Currently Not Collectible: What To Do If You Can't Pay Your IRS Debt

What can you do if you owe federal taxes but can't afford to pay? This article explains what "Currently Not Collectible" Status is, who may qualify for it, and how it can be helpful. 

Frequently asked questions about federal taxes

Includes answers to questions such as "Where is my federal refund?" "Where can I prepare my taxes on-line?" and "How do I obtain federal tax transcripts?"

Choosing a Paid Tax Preparer - Be an Informed Consumer

The IRS funds organizations to provide free tax preparation to low income families. To find a free tax preparation site near you, call the IRS at 800-906-9887 or look at the IRS list of free tax preparers.

If you choose to pay someone to do your taxes, you should read this guide first.


Lazlo Beh - Attorney

Lazlo Beh is the Supervising Attorney of the Low Income Tax Clinic (LITC).

Omeed Firouzi - Attorney
Anthony Marqusee - Paralegal