WASHINGTON — Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry today issued the following statement recognizing Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is pleased to support Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to increase awareness about a valuable tax benefit for working families and free tax preparation. Individuals claiming the EITC may receive a tax refund that they can use to seed a deposit account to meet a longer-term goal such as making a down payment on a house, saving for college or retirement, or creating a “rainy day” fund to cover emergency expenses.
National banks and federal savings associations play an important role in the financial education of their customers. I encourage the financial institutions we regulate to work with their communities to promote the EITC and free tax assistance programs, and partner with nonprofit organizations and government agencies to:
- Promote and provide low-cost bank products and services that enable tax refund recipients to deposit their income tax refunds directly into their accounts.
- Encourage the use of tax refunds in bank-sponsored savings match programs, also known as Individual Development Accounts.
- Sponsor Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs in bank branches and support employees who volunteer as tax preparers in low- and moderate-income communities.
Created in 1975, the EITC is the federal government’s largest program for helping working families. It is a refundable tax credit for people who work but do not earn high incomes. Last year, more than 27 million taxpayers received more than $65 billion in EITCs for an average of $2,407 per taxpayer.
The OCC provides resources on the EITC at its Web site at www.occ.gov, including the Leveraging Earned Income Tax Credits to Reach New Bank Customers Fact Sheet. OCC’s District Community Affairs Officers are available nationwide to provide information about this and other initiatives to national banks and federal savings associations interested in promoting the EITC in their communities.