SaveFirst

Every tax season, America's hardest-working families rely on their tax refund to support their children by helping to pay down debts and put food on the table. Unfortunately, they face exorbitant, negligent, and sometimes fraudulent preparers that cost our communities millions in fees. SaveFirst provides free tax preparation services and meaningful opportunities for savings.

  • Free Tax returns prepared for families during 2015:
  • 9,019
  • A 15% increase over the number of families served last year.
  • Tax refunds claimed by SaveFirst families during 2015:
  • $15.6M
  • Our IRS-certified student volunteers ensure families receive all benefits to which they are entitled.
  • Fees saved by families using SaveFirst in 2015:
  • $2.7M
  • These extra savings make a tremendous difference in helping hard-working families secure health insurance, pay down debts, and even put food on the table.
  • # of SaveFirst volunteers in 2015:
  • 738
  • Many student volunteers are surprised to learn how hard working low-income families are. Through SaveFirst, they gain a whole new perspective.
  • Total returns prepared for families since 2006:
  • 40,947
  • Total tax refunds claimed by SaveFirst families since 2006:
  • $73.9M
  • Total fees saved by families using SaveFirst since 2006:
  • $11.9M
  • Total # of volunteers since 2006:
  • 3,927

Stats by state: AL / TN / FL / SC

Most nonprofit and service organizations gather support from potential volunteers and donors by utilizing media and stories about the people they serve. And the media that have proven most effective tend to portray disadvantaged populations as helpless victims, and their benefactors as saviors. The imagery and tone, whether intentional or not, can be extremely condescending, and can deepen the pervasive sense of "otherness" that perpetuates many of our social ailments.

We hope our films will inspire those who watch them to develop a more nuanced understanding of these hard-working families living at or near the poverty line.

Hear from some of our SaveFirst clients in short profile features highlighting their struggles and dreams as they work hard to support their families.

Antoinette Miller

Despite working multiple part-time jobs, Antoinette Miller only makes $10,737 a year—100% of which is needed to support her daughter and put herself through nursing school.

Rebecca & Richard

Raising five children is a challenge no matter what. But when your household income is only $41,150 a year like Rebecca & Richard Charles—it can become a real struggle.

Shunte Sunday

Shunte Sunday considers herself blessed to have two jobs when some people can't even get one. So she works 65 hours a week, making only $23,000 a year to support her 3-year-old daughter.

A $500 contribution means 150 families receive free tax preparation services, saving them more than $45,000 in commercial preparation fees.

The Earned Income Tax Credit is the federal government's largest antipoverty program, aimed at lifting families—especially those with children—above the poverty line. However, many who do not have the resources or knowledge to file their own taxes rely instead on costly commercial tax preparers, collectively losing millions of dollars owed them by the EITC. That extra money could have made a tremendous contribution to helping lower-income families secure health insurance, pay down debts—and even put food on the table.

Moreover, because there are no national standards or licensing procedures for commercial preparers, many set up shop in low-income communities and take advantage of hard-working families by preparing negligent, and sometimes fraudulent, returns. And ultimately, it's the families who are on the hook for any mistakes. SaveFirst is dedicated to protecting these families' tax refunds—the largest check that most will receive all year.

SaveFirst

SAVEFIRST COLLABORATORS

We are proud to be a partner agency for Junior League of Birmingham volunteers and financial support.  JLB volunteers provide an especially high level of professionalism and expertise at our tax sites.

Fox 6, the most highly rated and watched television network in central Alabama, is our primary media sponsor of SaveFirst in Birmingham and surrounding communities.

WHNT is our primary media partner in Huntsville, Decatur, Florence and other North Alabama markets.

WSFA is our primary media partner in Montgomery and Central Alabama markets.

Impact Alabama's Huntsville tax preparation site is co-sponsored and co-coordinated by the United Way of Madison County.

ASCPA has provided marketing support, volunteers, and financial support of our SaveFirst campus fellowship program.

The largest number of student volunteers for our SaveFirst Initiative comes from The University of Alabama, which also supports SaveFirst through providing work study students, housing our appointment schedulers, and providing office space and financial support to our staff members.

MAJOR SAVEFIRST FUNDERS

We are so grateful to the companies and foundations who support SaveFirst across Alabama.

Impact America, an AmeriCorps Program, is housed and supported by the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility at The University of Alabama.  Additional office space is provided by UAB and Maynard, Cooper & Gale, PC.