Launching Arkansas Asset Builders
Organized by: Joyia Yorgey
It's April: Time for taxes and Arkansas Gives Day!
April 05, 2017
In Faulkner County, Arkansas, nearly 50% of households earn less than $50,000 per year. Many households across the income spectrum live paycheck to paycheck with little to no savings, so an unexpected expense can turn into a financial emergency. The Center for American Progress estimates that 11.2% of Arkansans turn to high-risk, high-cost forms of credit to make ends meet, deepening household debt and increasing financial challenges in their future.
Arkansas Asset Builders seeks to empower hard-working Arkansans with limited income through free income tax preparation services and financial literacy programs to flourish economically as individuals, families, and communities. In a county where a majority of households potentially qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), there are currently no organizations providing volunteer income tax assistance. Arkansas Asset Builders aims to fill this void, starting in the 2017 tax season. Each EITC return we can file brings an average of $2,469 back to a household in Faulkner County. This money can be transformative for a household, especially when used to pay off debt or saved for the future. Arkansas Asset Builder volunteers will begin conversations at tax time, followed up by workshops, classes, or one-on-one financial coaching, that empower our neighbors to make wise and informed choices about the use of their money.
Without your support, Arkansas Asset Builders will not be able to start this important work in January 2017. There are many expenses related to getting a non-profit off the ground and much work to be done to recruit the volunteers who will ultimately provide the tax preparation services. We need to raise $5,000 by the end of 2016 and ultimately another $10,000 by the end of tax season to fund this year's budget. Here are the specific expenses we face through the end of 2016:
- $500 for printing of volunteer recruitment/training/client outreach materials
- $650 for graphic/web design services
- $850 filing fee for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status
- $3000 for staff salary in order to get all this stuff done
Arkansas Asset Builders is a registered domestic non-profit corporation with the State of Arkansas, but have not yet been certified as tax-exempt by the IRS. While our 501(c)(3) application is pending, all contributions can be treated as tax deductible. We will provide official tax receipts for all contributions once our application has been approved, hopefully by the end of 2016.