Free tax help available for low-income individuals

Posted at 3:07 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 18:28:02-04

Dealing with the Internal Revenue Service can be stressful and intimidating for most people, especially if you owe money.  But what can you do if you have tax problems and cannot afford to hire an attorney to help you?

For low income families, a free, low-income taxpayer clinic is provided by the Erie County Bar Association as part of its Volunteer Lawyers Project that can be reached at (716) 847-0662.

The volunteer lawyers can handle a variety of tax issues with about 55 new cases opened every year.

However, many people do not know the program exists.

Della Miller, from Buffalo, is a good example.  She spent five years paying on a tax bill that she did not owe.

It started in 2013, when a community-based, free tax program filed the wrong form for Della.  That resulted in a nearly $8,000 tax bill for the disabled, low-income senior.

"I cut back on everything to make the payments, including medicine," said Della Miller, who spoke with 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly.

Finally in 2018, Della was referred to the Volunteer Lawyers Project which identified the problem, got it straightened out with the IRS, and allowed Della to get a refund on all the money she had paid plus interest. 

That refunded money allowed the Buffalo woman to buy some medical equipment that she needed.

"I am so thankful because it was a horrible experience.  Now, I can sleep again," explained Della, who wants more low-income people to know about the free program.

More information about the Volunteer Lawyers Project can be found here: http://ecbavlp.com/ or you can call (716) 847-0662.



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