United Way of the Mid-South has launched its annual Free Tax Prep Program. Individuals and families who earned less than $55,000 in 2018 are encouraged to call 2-1-1 to schedule an appointment at a Free Tax Prep location in their ZIP code.
United Way will kick-off Free Tax Prep with a 12-hour Tax-a-thon from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday (January 26th) at Southland Mall. A press conference featuring Mayor Jim Strickland is set for 1:30 p.m.
“The primary goal of the Free Tax Prep program is to expand the partnership network promoting financial self-sufficiency to offer individuals and families seeking free tax preparation more extensive financial support services,”said Phyllis Fickling, director of Community Impact for United Way of the Mid-South.
“By seeking targeted neighborhoods where predatory tax preparation practices are most prevalent, support can be offered to one of the most vulnerable populations — the working poor — allowing them to achieve self-sufficiency and financial stability by encouraging healthy economic habits and providing the necessary support and referral services.”
United Way of the Mid-South, in cooperation with the Internal Revenue Service, formed a coalition of local businesses, nonprofit agencies, members of the faith-based community and the public sector in 2002 to initiate the Free Tax Prep program.
The partnership assists low-income families and individuals prepare their tax returns and claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC program helps lift thousands of Mid-South families out of poverty each year by ensuring the credit is claimed by eligible filers, and the filers receive the maximum benefit by use of a free tax preparation site.
In 2018, Free Tax Prep brought in over $12 million in refunds to the Mid-South and $4.27 million in earned income tax credits. The average refund was over $1,730.
While Free Tax Prep widely benefits low-income families and individuals, the program also welcomes young professionals, entrepreneurs, students and freelancers.
“After becoming a freelancer, I wasn’t confident in preparing my own taxes as I have done in the past,” said Kirstin Cheers, 28, and a freelance writer. “Free Tax Prep has alleviated those anxieties and the stress that comes with tax season. The volunteers are helpful, compassionate and willing to guide participants through the entire experience.”
United Way seeks to promote economic self-sufficiency and financial stability by hosting free tax preparation and financial information sites throughout the Mid-South. In addition, at all sites, filers will have access to information about the economic self-sufficiency and asset-building programs offered throughout the community and learn about opportunities to open bank accounts and build other financial assets with their tax refunds.
People interested in volunteering with Free Tax Prep can sign up by calling United Way at (901)433-4300 or online at Volunteer United uwmidsouth.org/volunteer.
Free Tax Prep Sites
- Journey Fellowship
- Cordova Library
- The New Olivet Baptist Church
- Millington Branch Library
- The University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law
- Alpha Omega Veterans
- Memphis Urban League
- Gaston Park Library
- Oasis of Hope – Bickford Community Center
- North Library
- Hollywood Library
- South Branch Library
- Levi Library
- Cherokee Library
- Cummings Street Baptist Church
- New Horizon Apartments
- Poplar-White Station Library
- National College
- Parkway Village Library
- Hope Works
- Michael’s Catholic Church
- Highland Heights CDC
- East Shelby Drive Library
- Crenshaw Library
- Word of Life Seventh Day Adventist Church
- Frayser Library
- The House
- Frayser-Raleigh Senior Center
- Raleigh Egypt Middle High School
- Remington College
- Bartlett Public Library
- National College
- Deaf Connect
- ASHA Refuge
- Fullview Baptist Church
- Memphis Center Independent Living
- Plough Towers
- Divine Life Church
- West Memphis City Library
- M R Dye Library
- The Hill @ Hernando
- Dewitt Community Coalition Inc.
- University of Tennessee at Martin
Tipton County FTP
- Tipton County Public Library
Tunica County, MS
- R C Irwin Public Library
- Sam’s Town Casino