Community Tax Law Project Overview
Programs: CTLP's primary program is a low-income taxpayer clinic (LITC) providing free legal representation to low-income Virginia taxpayers with tax disputes and outreach and education to English as a second language (ESL) taxpayers. Other initiatives under this program include outreach and education to specific taxpayer groups including those transitioning from welfare to work, survivors of domestic violence, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, victims of identity theft, and taxpayers with cancellation of debt issues resulting from home foreclosure, credit card or medical debt. CTLP is a leader in the LITC community and provides advice and resources to other clinics nationwide.
CTLP’s services strongly impact the financial well-being of its clients, sometimes lifting families out of poverty. Our services also help keep the tax system fair by ensuring that all Virginians, regardless of their ability to pay for such services, receive equal treatment before the taxing authorities.
IRS notices are confusing to many people. Many of our clients have limited education, limited intellectual capabilities and/or mental health issues. These conditions further impede their ability to decipher these notices and to provide the information requested in a manner acceptable to the IRS. As a result, many of these taxpayers have refunds wrongfully withheld by the IRS or have garnishments placed on their wages, social security, or disability benefits that could have been avoided.
Examples of taxpayers represented by CTLP include parents claiming family tax credits and exemptions, elderly and disabled individuals, domestic violence survivors, victims of identity theft, and those facing the tax consequences of home foreclosure and other types of forgiven debt.
Through its Tax Resource Center for Nonprofit Organizations, CTLP helps Central Virginia nonprofits with assistance in establishing and maintaining nonprofit status. CTLP’s services help to ensure stronger, more viable organizations in the community.
CTLP accomplishes its mission through the generous assistance of a panel of pro bono volunteers as well as in-house legal staff who provide representation to lower income families and organizations who otherwise could not afford professional help.
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