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NR 2011-8
Contact: Dean DeBuck
(202) 874-5770

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Supports Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, January 28, 2011

WASHINGTON — Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh today issued the following statement recognizing Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Awareness Day.

EITC Awareness Day presents an opportunity to increase the public’s awareness about the EITC and the availability of free tax preparation sites.  In these challenging times, the EITC provides needed income to working families.  One in five Americans eligible for the credit do not claim it.  The credit should be claimed by every eligible taxpayer, and free tax preparation sites help these workers receive the credit they have earned.

I want to recognize the efforts of national banks around the country that work in their communities to promote the use of the EITC.  Banks partner with nonprofit organizations and government agencies to:

  • Promote and provide bank products and services that enable EITC recipients to directly deposit their income tax refunds.
  • Sponsor IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs in national bank branches and support bank employees who volunteer as tax preparers in low- and moderate-income communities.
  • Encourage the use of EITC refunds in bank-sponsored savings match programs, also known as Individual Development Accounts (IDAs).

The OCC provides resources on the EITC at its Web site at www.occ.gov.  These resources include the "Leveraging Earned Income Tax Credits to Reach New Bank Customers" Fact Sheet and a publication entitled "Reaching New Bank Customers Through the Earned Income Tax Credit."  OCC’s District Community Affairs Officers are available nationwide to provide information about these and other initiatives to national banks interested in promoting the EITC in their communities.

Created in 1975, the EITC is the federal government’s largest program for benefiting working families.  It is a refundable tax credit for people who work, but do not earn high incomes.  More than 24 million taxpayers received about $58 billion in EITCs on their 2009 federal income tax returns.

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