Mr. Diaz, one taxpayer I worked with recently, moved back to New York during the pandemic to help support his family. Upon arriving he struggled to find work to pay for his necessary living expenses.
Many New Yorkers like Mr. Diaz have struggled to find safe work during the pandemic. It has led to mass economic anxiety, particularly among communities of color who tend to occupy lower-wage jobs that do not allow for remote work. The CARES Act passed last May by Congress and the American Rescue Plan Act passed this March, offered relief for these individuals and families struggling to make ends meet. Still, an estimated 9 million Americans who were eligible for a stimulus check didn’t receive one. Mr. Diaz was one of those American taxpayers.
He came to Brooklyn A’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) for assistance obtaining the economic impact payment from the IRS. Over the last five years and throughout the pandemic, our team has been helping resolve tax issues with the IRS. We completed the application with the IRS, and Mr. Diaz received his stimulus payment a few weeks later. This payment helped him and his family cover essential costs such as rent and food.
There are others like Mr. Diaz who seek our help to overcome barriers to access, such as language, technological proficiency, or ability to navigate and understand the tax system. We have seen low-income individuals, the homeless, those lacking banking services or identification documents, and domestic violence survivors largely left out of the government’s relief efforts due to these challenges.
LITC’s work is just getting started. We will continue to provide our clients with high-quality legal assistance, throughout the pandemic and beyond.
Would you make a $10 donation so that New Yorkers like Mr. Diaz can get legal representation that they would otherwise not be able to afford, especially during these difficult times?
Tax Clinic Director, Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic
Director, Consumer and Economic Advocacy Program