Community Impact Financial Stability Pathway Faces of Success: Ashley Ladyman
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Title Financial Stability Pathway

Faces of Success: Ashley Ladyman

The tax filing process can be extremely frustrating and difficult at times, especially if complex tax scenarios are a part of the process. Vanderbilt University employee Ashley Ladyman encountered a tricky tax situation earlier this tax season.

“Halfway through 2016, I moved; I also had moving expenses that weren’t reimbursed and made charitable donations,” said Ladyman. “One of my employers also made a mistake on one of my forms; this added a degree of difficulty to the process.”

Ladyman needed help but couldn’t afford to pay for tax preparation. She turned to United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Free Tax Prep program. It provides free income tax preparation to individuals and families who qualify based on income.

This year, IRS-certified VITA volunteers are preparing free tax returns for households who qualify based on income at nine different locations across Davidson County. They are also assisting individuals and families with free online tax filing at, thanks to a partnership with United Way Worldwide and H&R Block. This option was perfect for Ladyman because an IRS-certified volunteer at the Vanderbilt site helped her learn how to properly file her tax returns.

“What impressed me the most about my experience at the Vanderbilt site was the volunteer who helped me. He was understanding and kind; when he didn’t know the answer to one of my questions, he researched the information and was able to help me out.”

Over the past six years, IRS-certified volunteers have assisted more than 73,000 clients with free tax preparation services through the VITA Free Tax Prep program. Hardworking Middle Tennesseans have received more than $137 million in refunds and tax preparation fee savings during this same time period. Ladyman is appreciative of this savings and plans to utilize her refund to rebuild her savings account.

“My move was very expensive upfront; my tax refund will enable me to establish an emergency fund in case I need it.”

Ladyman is grateful to United Way for providing free tax preparation services and encourages others to file their tax returns through the VITA Free Tax Prep program.

“United Way putting effort, money and manpower into a program like this demonstrates that the organization cares about people who live in this community and wants them to file their tax returns correctly. It’s quick and easy and won’t take an entire day to complete the process.”

If you don’t have access to a VITA Free Tax Prep site in your community, go to to file online for free. It’s a quick and easy way to save money on the cost of tax preparation fees and also maximize your tax return.

For more information about the VITA Free Tax Prep program, please click here.

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