DABC's cornerstone program is providing free tax prep to low income individuals and families. The free tax preparation service is delivered with a special focus on ensuring that qualified taxpayers receive relevant credits, including the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. DABC's free tax prep services allow individuals and families to receive quality tax preparation while avoiding unnecessary fees. DABC also assists with prior year tax preparation and resolving issues with the Internal Revenue Service. DABC's primary markets are underserved individuals or families eligible for the Earned income Credit (earning less than $52,000) and have a vested interest in creating a stable future.
A DABC staff of two and over 150 volunteers served more than 6000 people in 2019, bringing in over $10 million in tax refunds to our community, and saving our clients another $1.6 million they would have spent at a less-than-reputable paid preparer. In 2019, the average household income of individuals and families receiving services from DABC has been about $21,000. More than 40% of DABC's clients were people living at or under the poverty level and 74% were making less than 50% of the area median income. DABC is focused on serving underserved populations as well, including the elderly, the disabled and clients for whom English is a second language. Over 46% identified as being Latino, and 45% non-white; 20% were over 60 years old and 5% were disabled. Finally, DABC is the only organization in the region that specializes in processing ITIN applications and tax returns for non-resident taxpayers.
DABC has enabled 35,000 clients over the past ten years to receive over $50 million in benefits, including $30 million in federal refunds and $20 million in earned income credit. In addition, DABC services have saved clients over $7 million in tax prep fee savings. In 2017, a DABC staff of three and over 130 volunteers prepared 6,493 tax returns at 11 different sites around the metro area, bringing in over $8 million in tax returns and saving clients an estimated $1.3 million in tax prep fees.