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Impact Alabama partners with United Way to provide free tax preparations for low-income families

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – For lower income families, the thought of paying someone to prepare your taxes can be stressful. That’s where Impact Alabama’s Safe First initiative comes in. Last year, they helped more than 9,000 families. “We are hoping to serve 8,600 families this year,” said Elizabeth Park, with Impact Alabama.

1,500 families were served right here in Northern Alabama. “These families will work really hard for the money they make every year and if they go somewhere for the service, they’ll be spending 200-300 commercial fee for tax preparation,” said Park. Helping them save every penny, so they can use it towards necessities.

“When they only have one job or especially for the older families when they only have social security, those are simple tax returns and can be a secure way of be taken care of and not be an issue,” said Stuart Siniard, Volunteer Center Director of United Way of Madison County.

$15.6 million dollars in tax refunds, and $2.7 million was saved in fees, just last year alone.

It’s not just a positive for those getting their taxes prepared, but for those who are doing the preparing; because it’s done by certified volunteer UAH business students. “This is a skill they can actually apply once they graduate,” said Ivey McKenzie, Associate Dean of UAH College of Business.

Across the state, 700 students are getting real world experience. Every tax return will also be checked by a quality review person, who has more qualifications, so two sets of eyes will be on every tax return.

To qualify, if you’re single you can’t make more than $20,000 or if you have children, you can’t make more than $52,000.

They have offices set up in Huntsville, Decatur and Florence.

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