Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program


Location:Please call

For additional information about this FREE service, please see www.dallastaxcenters.org. For other Community Tax Center locations — click here.

About FRI VITA Program

Ferguson Road Initiative’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) initiative offers free tax help to people who generally make $53,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing.

Started in 2005 and today is a collaborative venture between Foundation Communities, United Way of Greater Dallas, State Rep. Eric Johnson, and the IRS. Annually we recruit, train and deploy between 50-80 volunteers, certified by the IRS. This year FRI’s VITA Initiative will be hosted by the First Community Church of Dallas (http://fccdfw.org/): 9120 Ferguson Road, Dallas 75228.

FRI, as part of the collaborative partners above, works in partnership with over 50 IRS-sponsored free tax preparation sites throughout the DFW area. For a complete list of sites, please visit United Way’s www.MyMoneyDFW.com.

Since its establishment in 2005, our program has completed over 10,000 tax returns, keeping over $16,300,000 in federal refunds within our community. It’s important to note, without this program our families would have to pay a minimum of $150 to have someone else prepare and e-file their returns. More importantly, many of these families would fall prey to expensive “rapid refund” loans with predatory interest rates as high as 500-600%. The Ferguson Road corridor is helped by FRI’s VITA program. Individuals receiving larger refunds are spending their refunds in our neighborhoods. In post-service surveys, 38% of taxpayers stated that they will be using their refunds to catch up bills and 10% to pay for essential services such as rent or mortgage payments.

FRI utilizes computer equipment that has been donated over the years, and covers expenses with funds provided by Foundation Communities, United Way and a grant from the IRS. Our present computers were provided by the Episcopal School of Dallas. While many of our volunteers are college students from UT Dallas and SMU, FRI actively seeks neighborhood volunteers to prepare taxes and to welcome taxpayers to our center. Some of our senior volunteers have been working with our initiative from the beginning with more than 13 years of experience.

One unique aspect of our service has included helping taxpayers resolve and/or file late prior year returns, state returns when they have worked outside of Texas in States with state income taxes and service to individuals who do not have social security numbers.

This service provides North Texas families and individuals the opportunity to reach financial stability through a multitude of programs, including free income tax preparation, one-on-one financial coaching and assistance, college financial aid, and more. Individuals who would like to prepare and file their own taxes can visit United Way’s www.MyFreeTaxes.com if they earn less than $64,000/yr.

For the 2017 Tax Preparation Year, ending in April 2018, our statistics and highlights were as follows:  

  • 1,492 families served
  • $2,774,796 in refunds.
  • Average AGI for families served as $26,620
  • We had 67 volunteers who contributed 1,149 hours of service valued at $24,129
  • We served 373 hours of financial education (15 minutes per client)
  • 62% of clients identified as Hispanic
  • 12% Black/African American
  • 9% White
  • 17% Asian & Other
    • 10,868 families
    • $19 million in refunds
    • Foundation Communities
    • United Way of Greater Dallas
    • Operation Blue Shield
    • First Community Church
    • Access Storage
    • St. Rep. Eric Johnson
    • University of Texas at Dallas
    • Southern Methodist University

The total of 10,868 is not an unduplicated number. Some families have returned every year for 13 years.

Rev. March 2019