REI Logo
Text Size: small text medium text large text
Bookmark and Share
banner image


REI Tour History
 
 
Mission

National Disability Institute's Real Economic Impact Tour was devoted to building a better economic future for millions of low-income individuals with disabilities and their families nationwide. Dedicated to the development of a roadmap out of poverty, the Real Economic Impact Tour (REI Tour) captured the power of collaboration and innovation. The REI Tour’s mission was to change expectations of communities to benefit from full participation of people with disabilities in the economic mainstream.

 
History
 

Beginning in 2005, the Real Economic Impact Tour (REI Tour) assisted 1.5 million Americans with free tax preparation, representing $1.4 billion in refunds. Starting as a small pilot in 11 cities, the REI Tour began with the goal of building more disability-inclusive, free tax coalitions across the country. In 2006, thanks to two grants from the Ford Foundation and National Cooperative Bank, as well as a national partnership with The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the efforts of their Wage and Investment Research division, inaugural data collection efforts were completed in a four-city focus-group pilot; the research focused on tax filing needs and characteristics of taxpayers with disabilities.

Since the inception of the REI Tour, NDI aimed to better serve taxpayers with disabilities and engaged more than 900 community tax coalitions, asset development and disability organizations across America, the number of persons with disabilities accessing free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) services and realizing they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as well as other tax credits has increased dramatically:

  • 5,316 percent increase in number of persons with disabilities filing taxes through REI Tour VITA sites (7,600 in 2005 to more than 411,000 in 2012);
  • 5,813 percent increase in the amount of tax refunds received by persons with disabilities through REI Tour VITA sites ($6.8 million in 2005 to more than $405.1 million in 2012);
  • 8,286 percent increase in Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) claims filed through REI Tour VITA sites ($0.7 million in 2005 to more than $58.7 million in 2012).

 

Impact
 
 
Six-year summary of the REI Tour Outcomes and Community Impact
 
Year Cities Local Partners Returns Prepared % Increase EITC Claims
EITC
Received
Refunds Received Tax Prep $ Saved
2005 11 ---- 7,600 ---- 1,710 $0.7 m $ 6.8 m $ 1.5 m
2006 33 200 17,223 127% 3,875 $1.6 m $ 15.3 m $ 3.4 m
2007 54 355 36,275 111% 8,162 $3.7 m $ 32.6 m $ 7.2 m
2008 62 555 90,653 150% 20,397 $9.7 m $ 81.5 m $ 18.1 m
2009 84 634 181,152 100% 40,759 $19.4 m $ 176.6 m $ 36.2 m
2010 100 710 360,499 99% 81,112 $38.5 m $351.5 m $72.0 m
2011 100 >800 397,090 10% 119,127 $43.7 m $387.1 m $87.4 m
2012 100 905 411,617 4% 123,485 $58.7 m $405.1 m $90.0m
TOTAL 1,502,109 398,627 $175.9 m $ 1.45 b $ 316.4 m