The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency wants more eligible working families to benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and is promoting EITC Awareness Day on January 26, 2018.
“EITC Awareness Day is an important opportunity to educate the American public, and in particular, workers with and low and moderate incomes, about a valuable tax break that can help improve their family’s savings and financial outlook,” Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting said.
The OCC encourages national banks and federal savings associations to work in their communities to promote the EITC and free tax assistance programs. “By educating customers about the EITC, banks can help improve financial outcomes for working families and boost economic opportunities in the communities they serve,” Mr. Otting said.
Created in 1975, the EITC is the federal government’s largest program for helping working Americans. The EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low- to moderate-income workers intended to offset the burden of social security taxes. When the EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a refund to eligible taxpayers who claim and qualify for the credit.
In 2017, more than 25.8 million eligible taxpayers received $63.8 billion in EITCs. The average amount received was about $2,470. The maximum amount in 2018 is $6,444 for taxpayers filing jointly with three or more qualifying children, and $3,468 with one qualifying child.
Unfortunately, only 80 percent of the low- and moderate-income workers who qualify every year claim the EITC, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). By educating their customers about the EITC, banks can help increase the percentage of eligible workers benefiting from the tax break.
In addition to promoting EITC awareness, the OCC encourages banks and savings associations 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 IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs in branches and support employees who volunteer as tax preparers in low- and moderate-income communities.
The OCC’s District Community Affairs Officers are available nationwide to provide information about the EITC and other initiatives to national banks and federal savings associations. The OCC also provides resources on the EITC on its website at http://www.occ.gov.
- IRS’s EITC Central
- OCC’s Fact Sheet on Individual Development Accounts (PDF)
- OCC’s Fact Sheet on Leveraging Earned Income Tax Credits to Reach New Bank Customers (PDF)
- OCC’s District Community Affairs Officer Contacts