IRS funds East Tennessee attorney to help you with problems

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

(WVLT) With all the horror stories out there about dealing with the IRS, even the poor and working poor have their share of problems.

It may be hard to believe, but the IRS is actually funding an Oak Ridge tax attorney agency to help them with their problems.

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb has more.

A nearly $100,000 dollar grant is now available for the poor and lower middle class to help them with IRS problems.

A woman from Oak Ridge knows all about it because she lived that nightmare.

Charlotte Bowers, fought the IRS and won says, "instead of them owing me the money that had been on my return they said that I owed them money."

That's Charlotte Bowers experience with the Internal Revenue Service three years ago when she sent in her return.

A question about earned income tax credits turned her $2,500 dollar refund into a debt of $1,800.

Something a woman of lower middle income couldn't afford.

So she tried to clear something up she had known for years.

"They had me single with no children which I'm divorced but I have four children."

After a year of frustration proving she had four children, Bowers turned to the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands.

Mary Michelle Gillum, Chief Staff Attorney says, "congress determined that poor people and lower income people need access to tax attorneys who have problems with the IRS."

Thanks to a nearly $100,000 dollar grant, Gillum and her network of attorneys across Tennessee helps about 400 people in need each year.

"In 2007, we've estimated that we've been able to get back about 1.5 million dollars in financial benefits."

Bowers says, "I took all my information down there and it was a God send."

Bowers says after a year of document mailing and getting no where, six weeks later she didn't get her $2,500 dollar refund, but a $4,500 dollar refund.

Bowers says, "well, I called her and I asked her if I could send her flowers or what I could do for her since she'd done such a wonderful job."

If you think you qualify you can call them at 866-481-3669.

Bowers is now married and hasn't had a problem since.

But just this year her husband is now having problems with the IRS.

So she's referring him to Gillum's agency.


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