News Release 2017-14 | January 27, 2017
WASHINGTON—Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry issued the following statement recognizing Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is pleased to support Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, a nationwide effort to educate the public about a valuable tax benefit for working families and free tax preparation. This is the 11th anniversary of EITC Awareness Day, which continues to call attention to this program. Working Americans who claim the EITC may receive a tax refund that offers the opportunity to help families achieve short-term financial goals, such as creating savings for an emergency, rainy day; or paying bills; or reaching long-term goals like making a down payment on a house or opening a savings account for college and retirement.
National banks and federal savings associations have an opportunity to educate their customers on financial capability programs, services, and products. OCC-regulated institutions are encouraged to work in their communities to promote the EITC and free tax assistance programs, as well as to partner with nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Examples of bank EITC activities include:
- Promoting and providing low-cost bank products and services that enable tax refund recipients to deposit their income tax refunds directly into their accounts.
- Encouraging the use of tax refunds in bank-sponsored savings match programs, also known as Individual Development Accounts.
- Sponsoring Internal Revenue Service Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs in bank branches and supporting bank 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 Americans. It is a refundable tax credit for people who work but do not earn high incomes. Nationwide, in 2016, more than 27 million received more than $67 billion in EITCs. The average amount of EITC received nationwide was more than $2,455.
The OCC provides resources on the EITC on its website at http://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.