United Way of the Mid-South envisions a Memphis where every person has equitable access to the resources needed to live the life of their choosing. One step in this process is providing low to moderate income families with free tax preparation to ensure they get the most of their refunds, including the earned income tax credit.

Free Tax Prep served 10,037 customers this year, resulting in $13.9 million in refunds. The innovative approach Drive-Thru Drop-Off program served 2,644 customers, resulting in $1.9 million in refunds.

The challenge of COVID-19 this year put a halt to most in-person services, but United Way’s Free Tax Prep team pivoted and found a flexible solution to continue serving our neighbors. The first ever Drive-Thru Drop-Off service allowed Free Tax Prep to file tax returns while maintaining social distancing. Individuals could drive or walk up, drop off their documents and be notified when their return was ready to be picked up.

“Moving people from where they are to where they dream to be is a fluid process that requires dynamic flexibility,” said Kenneth S. Robinson, President and CEO of United Way of the Mid-South. “Our Free Tax Prep team jumped the COVID-19 hurdle quickly and immediately began brainstorming an alternative solution to meet the needs of our neighbors.”

While what the future may hold in terms of servicing people face to face is still unpredictable, this year’s Free Tax Prep has proven that United Way of the Mid-South is committed to making the adjustments necessary to help all Memphians live a life of prosperity.