Hampton-Illlinois Public Library
North Dallas Shared Ministries
Martin Luther King Center
About FRI VITA Program
Ferguson Road Initiative’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) initiative offers free tax help to people who generally make $58,000 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, Sharing Life, the Dallas Public Library, and the IRS. Annually we recruit, train, and deploy between 40-80 volunteers certified by the IRS. This year FRI’s VITA Initiative will be hosted by the Lochwood Library: 11221 Lochwood Blvd., Dallas 75218 and the Forest Green Library: 9616 Greenville Ave., Dallas, TX 75243.
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 IRS VITA locator site: https://irs.treasury.gov/freetaxprep/.
Since its establishment in 2005, our program has completed over 15,000 tax returns, keeping over $27,000,000 in federal refunds within our community. It’s important to note, without this program our families would have to pay a minimum of $175 to have someone else prepare and e-file their return. 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 IRS tax preparation software and covers its expenses with funds provided by donations and grants made by individuals, corporations and churches. FRI actively seeks neighborhood volunteers to prepare taxes and to welcome taxpayers to our center throughout the year. Some of our senior volunteers have been working with our initiative from the beginning with more than 16 years of experience. Training is free, online, and provided by the IRS in case you want to volunteer. Just call us at 214-324-5116.
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. We also help individuals obtain or renew their ITIN number for free.
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 have a simple tax return but exceed the VITA $58,000 threshold.
For the 2021 Tax Preparation Year, ending in June 2021, our statistics and highlights were as follows:
- 1,020 families served
- $1,801,357 in refunds.
- Average AGI for families served as $28,907
- We served 236 hours of financial education (15 minutes per client)
- TOTAL SERVED OVER PAST 16 YEARS
- 15,775 families
- $27+ million in refunds
- Foundation Communities
- Access Storage
- The Dallas Public Library
- Sharing Life
The total of 15,775 is not an unduplicated number. Some families have returned every year for 16 years.
Rev. January 2021