Citi Community Development Marks National EITC Awareness Day with Release of Money Matters Publication

  Citi Community Development Marks National EITC Awareness Day with Release of
  Money Matters Publication

Second annual EITC awareness campaign provides valuable information in English
     and Spanish about the EITC and free VITA tax prep sites in 16 states

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- January 25, 2013

Citi Community Development today released Money Matters, a market-specific
publication appearing in 16 states across the United States that encourages
working taxpayers to take advantage of refunds available through the federal
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The publication, the centerpiece of Citi’s
second annual national EITC awareness campaign, also highlights the
availability of free tax preparation services through the Volunteer Income Tax
Assistance (VITA) program of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The
publications are available in English and Spanish at
www.citicommunitydevelopment.com.

“Filing for the EITC can mean reclaiming much-needed money that could be used
to bolster family savings, invest in small businesses, or prepare for college
expenses,” said Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development.
“Citi and our community partners across the country remain committed to
ensuring that all eligible families have the support and resources they need
to reclaim money that can really make a difference in challenging economic
times.”

About the Earned Income Tax Credit

The EITC enables working people who earn approximately $50,000 or less per
year to keep more of their earnings through a tax refund. The IRS estimates
that four out of five eligible people claim and receive the EITC, and last
year eligible filers received $62 billion in EITC refunds. However, many
people, including millions of eligible workers who qualified for the EITC for
the first time in 2012, don’t know about the EITC or that they must file an
income tax return in order to claim the benefit. Every year, 20 percent of
eligible taxpayers still do not file for the EITC, leaving billions of dollars
unclaimed.

About the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program

The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $51,000 or
less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified
volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic
filing to qualified individuals in local communities, and can inform taxpayers
about special tax credits for which they may qualify, including the EITC. VITA
sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries,
schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.

Citi developed Money Matters to help connect eligible taxpayers with local
community organizations that provide or promote free tax assistance. Money
Matters includes essential information about the VITA program and the EITC;
wise ways to save money; tips for stress-free tax filing; and the benefits of
having a bank account.

The importance of Citi’s EITC awareness efforts is reinforced by public
officials and thought leaders around the country:

Delaware Governor Jack Markell: “The EITC puts money back in the pockets of
working families. It’s an important boost for them and for the Delaware
Economy. I'm proud of our private and non-profit partners that are working
together to support this initiative.”

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn: “One of the best ways to stimulate the local
economy is to put more money back in the pockets of working families. This
year, I signed a new historic law to double the tax relief available for
working families in Illinois by doubling the EITC over the next two years.”

Jonathan Mintz, Commissioner, New York City Department of Consumer Affairs:
“Thanks to our certified volunteers at our network of free VITA sites, tens of
thousands of New Yorkers were able to avoid high fees and secure millions of
dollars in EITC returns during the 2012 tax season. To get that refund, which
could amount to as much as $7,900, we’re making it easier than ever.”

California State Senate President Pro Temp Darrell Steinberg: “Tax forms can
be daunting and overwhelming. Many families don’t even realize they may be
eligible for tax credits to help ease their tax burden. Working families have
enough on their plate this year and every little bit helps.”

Washington, DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray: "As one of the nation’s largest
anti-poverty programs, the EITC helps low-income adults and families keep more
money in their pockets. The District government is proud of its continued
support of this campaign and the aid it provides to our residents.”

Michael Sherraden, Director, Center for Social Development at Washington
University: "VITA tax preparation sites are an invaluable public resource.
Instead of being ripped off by high fees and predatory refund schemes,
low-income tax filers at VITA sites get honest service that is in their best
interest. This quality tax service enables some families to put a portion of
refunds aside as savings, making their lives more stable."

Money Matters will reach taxpayers in the following states:

  *Arizona
  *California
  *Connecticut
  *Delaware
  *Florida
  *Illinois
  *Maryland
  *Massachusetts
  *Missouri
  *Nevada
  *New Jersey
  *New Mexico
  *New York
  *South Dakota
  *Texas
  *Washington, D.C.

For more about how the EITC and VITA program boost the economic security of
working families, read Bob Annibale’s commentary on the New America
Foundation’s asset building blog The Ladder.

About Citi Community Development

Citi Community Development is leading Citi’s commitment to achieve economic
empowerment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities
by expanding access to financial products and services, and building
sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. Our focus areas
include: commercial and philanthropic funding; innovative financial products
and services; and collaborations with institutions that expand access to
financial products and services for low-income and underserved communities.
For more information, please visit www.citicommunitydevelopment.com.

Contact:

Media:
Citi
David Roskin, 212-559-4767
david.roskin@citi.com
 
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