Toledo FOC Network 2016 Tax Season Wrap-Up

May 11, 16 Toledo FOC Network 2016 Tax Season Wrap-Up

Each year, the Toledo Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) Network coaches participate in the Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB) tax program as OBB Tax Counselors. During the 2016 tax season, the coaches in the Toledo FOC Network worked double-duty, providing one-on-one financial coaching services as well as free tax prep services for new and existing clients alike. In 2016 alone, the FOC network coaches prepared 1,085 free tax returns, resulting in over $1.4 million in federal tax returns for local residents.

This year also brought one of our local FOC partners state-wide recognition and resulted in a special shout-out to one coach in particular.   The ONE Village Financial Opportunity Center of United North was ranked #6 in the Top 15 OBB Tax Site Locations this Tax Season! Financial Coach Nicole Reno with the ONE Village FOC was ranked #4 on the “Tremendous 12” Top OBB Tax Counselors this Tax Season list. 

Financial Coach Nicole Reno was ranked #4 in OBB's "Tremendous 12" Tax Counselors.

Financial Coach Nicole Reno was ranked #4 among OBB’s “Tremendous 12″ Tax Counselors.

Nicole personally prepared over 300 tax returns while simultaneously providing one-on-one financial coaching and counseling services to her regular clientele and facilitating financial education workshops in the community.  When asked about her tax-time feat, Nicole played down the recognition.  “I didn’t even know there was a ‘Tremendous 12’ list.  I just wanted to help as many people as I could keep their entire refund and not lose it to high-cost refund anticipation loans or outrageous tax prep fees. I’m just grateful to have made such an impact.”

“Our purpose for providing free tax prep through the Ohio Benefit Bank tax program is two-fold,” explained Michelle Wasylecki, FOC Manager at United North. “First, we provide these services to existing clients as a way to help them receive the cash infusion they need to achieve their goals.  Second, we use the OBB tax program as a tool to engage new residents in the full array of FOC services—moving them from tax prep to income supports counseling, and on to financial and employment coaching and counseling.”  According to Ms. Wasylecki, common uses of tax refunds by FOC clients include, securing transportation (both car purchase and repair), paying off debt, establishing savings, and making down-payments on home purchases.

For the full report, check out the Toledo FOC Network 2016 Tax Season Wrap-Up.

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