For nearly 40 years, AccountAbility Minnesota (AAM) has provided free tax and financial services to low- and moderate-income individuals, families and sole proprietors in the Twin Cities and across Greater Minnesota. AAM's Taxpayer Services programs were established with the belief that an individual’s access to tax assistance and, by extension, important financial supports applied for through a tax return, should not depend solely on his or her ability to pay for such services.
From the start, AAM delivered free, high quality tax preparation services to individuals and families without the means to get skilled assistance at tax time. AAM has greatly expanded its scope of work, and now AAM works in three areas:
• AAM provides free tax assistance for working families so they can access their refunds,
• AAM links working families to important financial services and products, and
• AAM helps volunteer-based tax sites across Minnesota by providing training and technical assistance.
AAM services reach deeply into the community. In the Twin Cities, AAM prepares over 23,700 tax returns each year. Too many of these more than 11,500+ working individuals and families often lack access to mainstream financial institutions. To meet their needs, AAM has designed a spectrum of financial services.
Many of AAM’s customers experience barriers to filing accurate and timely returns due to language, educational, cultural, economic and accessibility differences. In 2011, 70% of AAM’s metro customers were from communities of color and 25% described themselves as a person with a disability.
AccountAbility Minnesota's goals in 2012 are to: 1) increase the capacity of its taxpayer services program to serve additional customers both in the Twin Cities metro area and throughout Greater Minnesota, including recruitment and training of 550 Twin Cities volunteers, building community tax site partnerships with 11 organizations in the Twin Cities, and providing training and technical assistance to organizations throughout the state so they can provide services in their local communities; 2) increase access to affordable financial education services and financial products for low- to moderate-income families by offering free savings accounts and prepaid debit cards, credit counseling and financial planning, and public benefits screening; and 3) ensure that our programs offer the highest level of accuracy in tax preparation along with outstanding customer service to ensure taxpayers have a good understanding of their rights and responsibilities.
Community or Constituency Served
AccountAbility Minnesota serves low- and moderate-income families (Under $50,000 for families & under $30,000 for individuals), 70% of whom are people of color; 25% of whom self-identify as a person with a disability.
Geographic Area Served
Each year AccountAbility Minnesota provides free tax and financial services directly to 11,000 customers in the Twin Cities metro area and provides training and technical assistance to 15-20 partner organizations in Greater Minnesota who in turn serve an additional 9,000 customers.
Impact and Programs