(a) In general
The Secretary may, subject to the availability of appropriated funds, make grants to provide matching funds for the development, expansion, or continuation of qualified low-income taxpayer clinics.
For purposes of this section—
(1) Qualified low-income taxpayer clinic
(A) In general
The term “qualified low-income taxpayer clinic” means a clinic that—
(i) does not charge more than a nominal fee for its services (except for reimbursement of actual costs incurred); and
(ii)(I) represents low-income taxpayers in controversies with the Internal Revenue Service; or
(II) operates programs to inform individuals for whom English is a second language about their rights and responsibilities under this title.
(B) Representation of low-income taxpayers
A clinic meets the requirements of subparagraph (A)(ii)(I) if—
(i) at least 90 percent of the taxpayers represented by the clinic have incomes which do not exceed 250 percent of the poverty level, as determined in accordance with criteria established by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; and
(ii) the amount in controversy for any taxable year generally does not exceed the amount specified in section 7463.
The term “clinic” includes—
(A) a clinical program at an accredited law, business, or accounting school in which students represent low-income taxpayers in controversies arising under this title; and
(B) an organization described in section 501(c) and exempt from tax under section 501(a) which satisfies the requirements of paragraph (1) through representation of taxpayers or referral of taxpayers to qualified representatives.
(3) Qualified representative
The term “qualified representative” means any individual (whether or not an attorney) who is authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service or the applicable court.
(c) Special rules and limitations
(1) Aggregate limitation
Unless otherwise provided by specific appropriation, the Secretary shall not allocate more than $6,000,000 per year (exclusive of costs of administering the program) to grants under this section.
(2) Limitation on annual grants to a clinic
The aggregate amount of grants which may be made under this section to a clinic for a year shall not exceed $100,000.
(3) Multi-year grants
Upon application of a qualified low-income taxpayer clinic, the Secretary is authorized to award a multi-year grant not to exceed 3 years.
(4) Criteria for awards
In determining whether to make a grant under this section, the Secretary shall consider—
(A) the numbers of taxpayers who will be served by the clinic, including the number of taxpayers in the geographical area for whom English is a second language;
(B) the existence of other low-income taxpayer clinics serving the same population;
(C) the quality of the program offered by the low-income taxpayer clinic, including the qualifications of its administrators and qualified representatives, and its record, if any, in providing service to low-income taxpayers; and
(D) alternative funding sources available to the clinic, including amounts received from other grants and contributions, and the endowment and resources of the institution sponsoring the clinic.
(5) Requirement of matching funds
A low-income taxpayer clinic must provide matching funds on a dollar-for-dollar basis for all grants provided under this section. Matching funds may include—
(A) the salary (including fringe benefits) of individuals performing services for the clinic; and
(B) the cost of equipment used in the clinic.
Indirect expenses, including general overhead of the institution sponsoring the clinic, shall not be counted as matching funds.
(Added Pub. L. 105–206, title III, §3601(a), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 774.)
Pub. L. 105–206, title III, §3601(c), July 22, 1998, 112 Stat. 776, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [enacting this section] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [July 22, 1998].”