United Way’s Free Tax Prep program is a vital part of our priority work to impact Mid-South poverty and improve local income / financial stability. The program utilizes the power of local volunteers to serve as Cash Coaches and in other key positions to help individuals and families receive a “tax time boost” to help build stronger financial lives.
Our Free Tax Prep program is recruiting volunteers for our next cycle, with training beginning in November 2015 before our formal kick-off in January 2016. We are also looking for Mid-Southerners who are interested in becoming United Way Cash Coaches to help citizens learn more about savings and money management. You can sign up to be trained as a Free Tax Prep volunteer and Cash Coach volunteer through our partnership with Volunteer Memphis.
About United Way’s Free Tax Prep program: Through recruiting and training volunteers to help people prepare and file their income taxes, United Way is bringing income back to the Mid-South, which improves the lives of individuals, families, and our local economy.
When a family that is struggling to make ends meet is able to receive free tax preparation help rather than having to spend (often) hundreds of dollars with other preparers, it makes a huge difference. The service also helps citizens avoid predatory lending practices at less-than-reputable tax centers, and provides access to information about savings, financial literacy, and healthy financial practices.
The Free Tax Prep program helped bring in over $12.08 million in refunds and ensured that over $4.27 million in Earned Income Tax Credits were claimed by local citizens. The average refund was over $1,730.00.
Volunteers prepared over 8,110 tax returns for Mid-Southerners in 2014-15, nearly 10% more than the previous year. The average adjusted gross income of people who received help was roughly $24,500.00 The vast majority of returns were prepared at local “Super Sites” in the Southland Mall, Hickory Ridge Mall, Raleigh Springs Mall, and a mobile site which visited underserved areas. Additional sites were available across the Mid-South to help people in their own neighborhoods so locations were close to home.
You can find the Free Tax Prep site in your area by calling the 2-1-1 network during normal business hours. Just dial 2-1-1 or the alternate number, 901.415.2790. Tell the operator you’re looking for the United Way Free Tax Prep location in your zip code.
We wish to recognize our sponsors – thank them for their help in making this program possible.