News Release 2020-12 | January 31, 2020
OCC Promotes Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day
WASHINGTON—In an effort 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 the 14th annual EITC Awareness Day on January 31.
"We encourage more eligible, hard-working Americans to take advantage of this valuable tax break," said Comptroller of the Currency Joseph M. Otting. "This may help you make ends meet or save for the future. And use of the credit can also provide an economic boost to communities across America."
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.
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 2019, 25 million eligible taxpayers received $63 billion in EITCs. The average amount received was about $2,476. The tax credit can mean up to a $6,557 refund when a return is filed if a taxpayer has qualifying children. Workers without a qualifying child could be eligible for a credit up to $529.
One-third of the EITC population changes each year. The IRS estimates that four out of five workers claim the EITC they earned, which still leaves billions of dollars on the table each year in unclaimed credits.
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 Leveraging Earned Income Tax Credits to Reach New Bank Customers (PDF)
- OCC's District Community Affairs Officer Contacts