Every year there is one key and predictable moment – tax time – when many consumers who are struggling to make ends meet have an opportunity to choose to build savings that will insulate them from some of the financial stress that may occur later in the year. In 2013, nearly 93 million households filing tax returns had an adjusted gross income of less than $50,000 per year and over 85% of those households received a refund when they filed their tax returns. For the past three years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has provided information and training to staff and volunteers at community VITA programs around the country to promote saving at tax time. Through these engagements with VITA providers and other experts in the field, we have identified ten promising practices that may help tax preparation programs be more successful at informing consumers about their saving options, which in turn may help consumers follow through on their savings goals while filing their tax return.
VITA: A step-by-step guide to increase your impact