News Release 2019-7 | January 25, 2019
WASHINGTON—To make more eligible working families aware of the benefits of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is promoting EITC Awareness Day on January 25.
“The Earned Income Tax Credit is a valuable tax break that can help the financial outlook of hard-working, American families,” said Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting. “I encourage all eligible taxpayers to take advantage of this benefit.”
The OCC encourages national banks and federal savings associations to work in their communities to educate the public about and to promote the EITC and free tax assistance programs.
“Not only does this tax break help working families, it can also provide an economic boost to the communities that national banks and federal savings associations serve,” said Otting.
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 2018, more than 25 million eligible taxpayers received $63.8 billion in EITCs. The average amount received was about $2,488. The maximum amount in 2019 is $6,431 for taxpayers filing jointly with three or more qualifying children, and $3,461 with one qualifying child.
Unfortunately, only 80 percent of working families who could qualify every year claim the EITC, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). By promoting the EITC to their customers, banks and federal savings associations can help increase the percentage of eligible taxpayers 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.