The Community Tax Law Project (CTLP) provides free legal help to Virginia’s low wage families and individuals experiencing economic harm because of a tax problem. Our services directly strengthen the financial stability of working families and ensure that all Virginians receive fair and equal treatment in tax disputes.
The Community Tax Law Project (CTLP) is Virginia’s only statewide provider of free tax controversy representation to low- and moderate-income taxpayers and for education in taxpayer rights and responsibilities to taxpayers with limited English proficiency. Founded in 1992, CTLP is the oldest independent low-income taxpayer clinic in the United States and the model for the national Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic program.
Each year, CTLP staff and volunteer tax professionals help approximately 1,000 Virginians decipher the federal and state tax laws and solve problems they may have with the taxing agencies. CTLP works on behalf of taxpayers to untangle the red tape and saves hard-working Virginia families money they may not have owed in the first place.
CTLP accomplishes its mission through the generous assistance of its Pro Bono Panel, composed of more than 100 volunteer attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents. CTLP screens cases for income eligibility and merit; then refers the accepted case to a local attorney or accountant. To qualify for services, a taxpayer must have income at or below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Virtually any taxpayer can encounter a problem with the IRS or the Virginia Department of Taxation, but not every taxpayer can afford the professional representation necessary to solve those problems and protect their rights. CTLP’s staff and volunteers fill this gap by providing taxpayers with expert advice on how to file tax returns properly to avoid problems and with professional representation to solve tax problems they have encountered. These problems typically include:
- Helping taxpayers substantiate legitimate claims for tax benefits;
- Helping custodial parents prove that they are entitled to claim their children on their returns;
- Helping taxpayers correct erroneous wage and income reports;
- Helping taxpayers with tax issues related to the Affordable Care Act;
- Helping taxpayers cope with the tax consequences of home foreclosure and cancellation of debt;
- Helping financially challenged taxpayers work out payment alternatives to discharge their tax liability;
- Helping innocent and injured spouses escape liability for taxes they do not owe;
- Helping retired and disabled taxpayers retain all of their retirement or disability benefits so they can pay their rent and purchase food and medicine.
Unlike other so-called tax problem solvers, CTLP does not charge eligible taxpayers for its services. We rely on grants and donations to keep the lights on and the assistance flowing. To learn how you can help support CTLP’s programs, click here.
The Community Tax Law Project (CTLP) is a 501 (c)(3) Virginia corporation founded in 1992 on the belief that a taxpayer’s access to professional representation in tax disputes should not depend solely on his or her ability to pay for such services. CTLP’s primary mission is to provide low income Virginia taxpayers with pro bono representation in federal and state tax disputes and to educate low income individuals about their rights and responsibilities as U.S. taxpayers.