The Community Tax Law Project is the only organization in Central Virginia providing tax legal assistance to low-income individuals. Without CTLP’s assistance, low-income taxpayers truly would have nowhere else to turn and likely would not prevail in their tax disputes.Since its inception, CTLP has helped thousands of struggling families. Our services help not only our clients but the communities in which they live. When we successfully help a mother who is being audited for the Earned Income Tax Credit, she receives the credit for the audit year and is eligible for as long as she continues to claim her children. Often this yearly credit is enough to pull her family out of poverty. Generally, she spends the tax credit on food, clothing and necessities locally, in her own community.Approximately 25% of CTLP’s clients are elderly and/or disabled. When an elderly widow has her meager Social Security benefit garnished, she is not able to meet her basic living expenses. We have witnessed elderly people forgoing food and medicine because of an IRS garnishment. Many of these taxpayers have tried to deal with the IRS on their own but were unable to reach agreement. CTLP is able to get these garnishments released, sometimes working in tandem with the Taxpayer Advocate Office to resolve these emergency cases.Our services save the federal and state governments valuable resources that would be better focused in other areas. By freeing up refunds and removing improper levies imposed on low-income taxpayers, our services help these families pay for housing and necessities without having to resort to government assistance. Our legal assistance and educational programs also help taxpayers comply with the tax laws, thus helping them to become better citizens.
The Community Tax Law Project (“CTLP”) is a unique nonprofit providing free legal representation to low-income Virginia taxpayers facing tax problems throughout the entire Commonwealth of Virginia. In addition to its small but hard-working staff, CTLP relies upon an experienced panel of volunteer attorneys, accountants, and other tax professionals in Virginia who donate numerous pro-bono volunteer hours to serve CTLP clients. These dedicated volunteers have donated more than $323,000 in pro bono hours to assist with cases. In many of these cases, the legal assistance provided by CTLP in a tax case makes it possible for clients to pay for basic living expenses such as housing costs, utilities, and medicine.
I became involved with CTLP when I completed a clinical placement with the organization as a third-year law student. Shortly thereafter, I joined CTLP as a staff attorney, and now I am honored to serve on its board of directors as President. My continued involvement with CTLP over the past fifteen years has allowed me to witness firsthand the positive outcomes that CTLP’s services have on its clients, and reinforces my belief that CTLP provides a critical service to Virginia’s taxpayers. Imagine losing your job unexpectedly during the cold winter months, but knowing your tax refund will help cover your family’s expenses until you find replacement work. Sometimes a withheld refund is all that stands between a struggling family and financial recovery.
In 2014, CTLP assisted over 900 taxpayers with various tax matters that could not be resolved without legal assistance. Staff and volunteers guided clients through the audit process, brought them back into compliance, assisted them with negotiating collection alternatives, and helped them avoid enforced collection such as wage garnishments and bank levies. CTLP also assisted clients in securing thousands in withheld refunds, and conducted numerous taxpayer educational programs to help low-income individuals comply with the tax laws and achieve financial stability.
While the type of legal assistance provided by CTLP is unique, the challenges that face CTLP financially are not. CTLP has experienced the same financial struggles that many nonprofits have experienced in its continuing efforts to serve Virginia’s working poor. Because of these financial constraints, CTLP has been forced to impose periodic moratoria on accepting new clients due to the tremendous demand for services. Despite such challenges, the positive impact that CTLP and its volunteers have, and continue to have, on the lives of clients has remained constant. We hope that you will join CTLP in its continuing efforts to help make our communities financially stronger.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia7501 Boulders View Drive, Richmond, VA 23225804-330-7400 | www.tcfrichmond.org