Citi, in Collaboration with More Than 20 Municipalities and Counties, Announces Investment in Free Tax Preparation Initiatives to Help Boost Financial Resilience for Eligible Workers

Citi’s investment aims to expand awareness of and access to Earned
Income Tax Credits and free, high-quality tax preparation services in
major cities and regions across the United States

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Citi announced today a collaboration with more than 20 U.S.
municipalities and counties, as well as leading nonprofit organizations,
to support free tax preparation services and address the billions of
dollars in unclaimed Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) left on the table
by millions of lower income working households annually.

The EITC, a refundable tax credit for lower-income workers, is often the
largest lump-sum payment these households receive all year. Nationwide
during 2018, 25 million eligible workers and families received about $63
billion in EITC refunds, averaging $2,488 per household. Yet the credit
is vastly underused: according to the Internal Revenue Service, one in
five eligible households do not claim the EITC, leaving billions of
dollars in potential refunds on the table.

“The Earned Income Tax Credit provides a vital cash infusion that can
supplement family incomes and stimulate the economy. Yet, millions of
eligible workers are missing out. Last year in California alone,
eligible filers left $1.65 billion unclaimed EITC on the table,” said Bob
Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development and Inclusive
. “By raising awareness of the free, high-quality tax
preparation services available to eligible filers across the country, we
aim to help ensure that more households access the full value of the tax
credits they have earned.”

Of those who do file for the EITC, thousands are not receiving their
full refund. Many households eligible for free, IRS-supported Volunteer
Income Tax Assistance (VITA) services instead pay hundreds of dollars in
fees to for-profit tax preparers. By supporting several multisector
initiatives, Citi will help raise awareness of free tax preparation
services, increase the capacity of VITA providers to service more
clients, and expand access to the federal EITC.

“Working families deserve every opportunity to put money back in their
pockets and use those dollars on daily necessities like paying for
quality childcare for their kids, making much-needed home improvements,
or investing in higher education,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric
. “This partnership will help thousands of Angelenos
navigate tax season and better understand how to take full advantage of
tax credits that can help them get ahead.”

“One of my proudest achievements when I was Speaker of the Assembly was
the creation of the groundbreaking California Earned Income Tax
Credit. And over the past two years, the Governor and the Legislature
have gone further and expanded the EITC, so that more and more working
families benefit from a program that has proven to reduce poverty,” said California
Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins
. “In 2019 and beyond, we
will continue to pursue policies such as the EITC that make things
easier for our residents.”

This year, Citi is supporting the expansion of 23 “Free Tax Prep”
initiatives and awareness campaigns in New York City and Long Island,
New York; Fairfield and Bridgeport, Connecticut; Newark, New Jersey;
Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County, Florida; the Bay Area
region; Fresno, Orange County, San Diego, Napa, Sacramento and Los
Angeles in California; Chicago, Illinois; South Dakota; and the
Washington, DC Metropolitan region.

“Financial relief is a key component of enabling our residents to meet
their personal and professional goals,” said Miami Mayor Francis
. “This program will support our ongoing efforts to bridge the
economic divide by providing free tax services and allowing more of our
residents to benefit from earned tax credits they may otherwise not know
exist. This service adds to our city’s longstanding track record since
2004 of providing comprehensive financial empowerment programming to
those who need it most.”

“As leaders across our state work to mitigate the effects of the federal
shutdown and California’s ongoing affordability crisis, we are using
every policy tool available to help residents strengthen their financial
resiliency,” said Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland. “The Earned
Income Tax Credit is a proven solution to help prevent hard working
families from sinking deeper into debt and poverty, and we are pleased
to launch the Earn It Keep It Save It campaign in collaboration with
Citi to help provide an immediate relief for working families and
vulnerable residents that need it most.”

“Millions of New Yorkers look forward to receiving their tax returns
each year to help lower debt, put more money in their savings account,
plan for a vacation and more,” said NYC Department of Consumer
Affairs Commissioner Lorelei Salas
. “This is why it is so important
for New Yorkers to know about NYC Free Tax Prep. It’s a way to ensure
their taxes are processed by a trained volunteer preparer- and best of
all, it’s free, which means filers get every dollar they earned and
deserve. We are grateful to Citi’s ongoing support of this important

Citi has invested approximately $4.5 million in support towards 2018 and
2019 tax time initiatives. Last year, these investments supported tax
preparation campaigns and services that helped 78,000 eligible workers
file their EITC forms, which yielded $123.5 million in Earned Income Tax
Credits claimed, and an estimated $16.2 million in fee savings on tax
preparation fees.


Citi Community Development leads Citi’s commitment to financial
inclusion and economic empowerment for underserved individuals, families
and communities across the U.S. Through innovative collaborations with
municipalities, community groups and leading nonprofit organizations, we
harness Citi’s expertise, products and services to help expand
opportunity for all.

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Elizabeth Kelly
(212) 559-2477

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