October 12, 2018
For 10 years, Brent Frymier had dedicated himself to fighting for the financial stability of those in need. In just the last decade alone, he’s helped ensure thousands of individuals in Central Indiana are on their way to a more secure financial footing. His time volunteering has put millions of dollars back into our community.
Brent has had a hand in all of this great work as a volunteer for Indy Free Tax Prep. The program provides low income individuals and families free tax preparation through the use of trained volunteers. The program ensures that eligible residents receive appropriate tax credits and deductions, ultimately reducing the number of financially unstable households in Central Indiana. Last year, the program prepared over 7,000 tax returns, resulting in $9 million in refunds.
As an employee of Huntington Bank for 32 years, Brent knows a thing or two about the importance of financial stability. We recently chatted with him to learn more about why he’s passionate about Indy Free Tax Prep and why the program is so vital to people in our community.
How did you first get involved with Indy Free Tax Prep?
Ten years ago, I began attending Indianapolis Asset Building Coalition meetings and met First Lady Winnie Ballard, who was passionate about the program. The community wanted to make a push to strengthen the program and serve more people. My colleagues and I at Huntington decided we were all in and have been ever since.
How do you volunteer?
I am on the advisory board, lead an Indy Free Tax Prep volunteer team of over 40 colleagues at Huntington Bank and also get certified each year to prepare taxes as a volunteer.
How does Indy Free Tax Prep help families?
Tax preparation can be stressful and intimidating for many people. There is also the worry about preparing the tax forms correctly to avoid penalties. With those concerns, people often turn to a paid preparer. However, for the families and people we serve many can’t afford the tax preparation fees. By having their taxes prepared by a volunteer for free that money can be put to work for their family.
Why is this program important to our community?
With over 7,000 tax returns prepared by volunteers, the dollars we save these taxpayers in tax preparation fees adds up across the community to a substantial benefit in terms of additional resources these families have. We are helping families keep more of their hard-earned money.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering for Indy Free Tax Prep?
Relieving the stress of preparing taxes and seeing the appreciation. I’ve had many wonderful conversations with taxpayers while I prepare their taxes. I feel good knowing I’m saving people money.
How does Indy Free Tax Prep help people become more financially stable?
Indy Free Tax Prep helps families become more financially stable in two key ways. First, we make sure the taxes are done correctly, resulting in the maximum refund by using a three-tier system. This includes in-take to make sure we have all the documents necessary to prepare the tax forms, preparation using an IRS system and quality review by advanced reviewers. Secondly, we save people the filing fees they would pay for paid preparers. The taxpayers Indy Free Tax Prep serves have the greatest need for these funds to pay for everyday essential expenses.
You’ve been involved with Indy Free Tax Prep for 10 years, what keeps you coming back to volunteer?
I’m passionate about putting more money in the pockets of those that need it the most. The fact that the taxpayers are so appreciative and seeing the relief and smiles on their faces after I help them keeps me coming back.
Are you interested in joining Brent in the fight for the financial stability of families in our community? You don’t need past experience with taxes or a background in finance to help make a huge difference for families in need. With multiple volunteer roles and sites available throughout five counties, you’re bound to find the perfect fit for you. Sign up now to learn more about Indy Free Tax Prep and upcoming volunteer training.
If you are a dedicated United Way volunteer and are interested in being spotlighted for this special feature, fill out the form below and we will be in touch!