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August 25, 2017
Summer At CTA



Summer is in full swing, and while we often get asked if our office is closed because Tax Season is over, our work is actually never done. Between May and December, we spend time working on statistics, 
reporting and applying for new grants, answering phone calls from tax payers who have other tax issues such as letters from the IRS or questions about their refunds, and planning for the year ahead. A big project this summer has been CTA’s involvement, particularly our Executive Director, Teresa Hinze, on the IRS SPEC (Stakeholder Partnerships, Education & Communication) Quality Products team. 


With the help of a few dedicated volunteers, we continue to serve taxpayers who need to file their taxes for previous years. We have seen over 20 taxpayers since the end of the 2017 tax season and expect to see many more before the end of the year.


Scroll down to find out some of the things CTA is doing this summer and some of our plans for the rest of the year. 


Remember, we can't do this without you! 


Have a great summer,



Brookings Hackathon

On June 24th, CTA teamed up with the Brookings Institute Data Network for their first ever Hackathon! 

The Data Network is comprised of Brookings' employees who volunteer to analyze data and do other projects outside their normal work schedules. CTA was chosen as the first ever nonprofit thanks to a nomination from two Brookings employees who volunteer at our tax sites. The goal of the Hackathon was to help CTA with projects that we don’t have time to complete in house. 


Thanks to the experts of the Data Network (AKA #DataHeroes) we were able to focus on three projects:

  1. Update of free tax assistance marketing materials
  2. Improved collection tools and database for tracking and reporting volunteer hours
  3. Donor Database Cleanup
By the end of the day, we had a brand new system to track volunteer hours, a much cleaner donor database, and brand new design for site flyers and postcard, ready to use for outreach next season!


We can't thank the group enough for their professionalism, enthusiasm, and commitment to helping CTA! Click here to see some pictures from this fun event.

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Controversy Clinic and 1099 Workshops


Clinic Highlights:

 attorney/CPA/EA volunteers recruited

 clients reached

Number of attendees for 1099/Independent contractor workshops. 

Taxpayers regularly contact CTA with questions about a correspondence from the IRS or a state tax agency. To assist taxpayers with federal and state tax issues, CTA operated a pilot Tax Controversy Clinic this summer. Taxpayers are screened at the CTA office and matched with pro bono attorneys who receive training and mentoring from the CTA Clinic Supervisors. 

Most taxpayers that contact CTA are in some stage of collections and unaware that there are multiple possibilities to address their tax debt. Through the clinic, we assist taxpayers with arranging a manageable installment agreement, or ending ongoing collection actions. 


Board members and tax attorneys Maria Dooner and Meg Newman supervised the clinics, with help from William McNally. A special thanks to Will, who came on board temporarily during the 2017 tax season, and stayed to coordinate the clinic.


While the Controversy Clinic was a summer program, we hope to continue to expand our network of volunteer attorneys to continue providing this service our community. 

If you are interested in getting involved, send an email to

1099 Workshops

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During tax season we frequently encounter taxpayers who are working in the sharing economy or as independent contractors and don't realize they are self-employed for tax purposes so are surprised at the additional records they need at tax time and the fact that they owe self-employment tax. 

To educate low income taxpayers on the impacts of their work at tax time and help them create a system to track their expenses, CTA offered two 1099/Independent Contractor Workshops this summer at the Georgetown University Law Center. Board Member Meg Newman presented on following topics:

  1. What business expenses are deductible
  2. How to track expenses
  3. Savings for and paying quarterly taxes
  4. Bank accounts and managing money
  5. Challenging 1099 status if you believe you should receive a W-2

Taxpayers could then ask questions specific to their business. Eight taxpayers attended, all of whom left happy! We would like to thank William McNally for his dedication to the program and for helping make it such a great success!

Keep up with CTA! 

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Community Tax Aid
1000 Vermont Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20005

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