The Tax-Time Savings Project

Savings is an important factor in moving families up the economic ladder; however, more than one in three  Texans do not have a savings account and half don’t have adequate emergency savings. 

 

Tax-time is an important moment to help families save as tax refunds represent the largest single payment many low-income families receive all year. Tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are meant to supplement wages and incentivize work, with the average refund amounting to over $2,000.  IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites, which provide free tax return preparation to low-income families, have emerged as an important platform to encourage families to save.

 

In 2011, OpportunityTexas launched the Tax-Time Savings Project, which includes two different initiatives - Opportunity to Save and Opportunity Savings Accounts -  to encourage Texas VITA filers to  save a portion of their tax refund.  

 

Opportunity to Save

The Savings Bond Incentive Project (rebranded this year as Opportunity to Save) lead by OpportunityTexas in partnership with the United Ways of Texas, Foundation Communities and Goodwill of Central East Texas, offers $25 grocery or discount store gift cards to VITA clients who use a portion of their tax refund to purchase $50-$100 in U.S. Savings Bonds. The project is taking place in 10 Texas communities in the 2014 tax season: 

 

 

Participating Communities:

 

Austin

Foundation Communities

3036 South First St. Austin, TX 78704

 

Brownsville

United Way of Southern Cameron County

634 East Levee St. Brownsville, TX 78520

 

Corpus Christi

United Way of the Coastal Bend

711 North Carancahua St. Suite 302, Corpus Christi, TX 8401

 

Fort Worth

United Way of Tarrant County

1500 North Main St. Suite 200, Fort Worth, TX 76164

 

Longview

Greater Longview United Way

310 South Fredonia St. Longview, TX 75601

 

Lubbock

Coalition of Community Assistance Volunteers

3212 Avenue Q, Lubbock, TX 79411

 

Lufkin

Goodwill Central East Texas

301 Hill St. Lufkin, TX 75904

 

Montgomery County

Montgomery County United Way

1600 Lake Front Circle, Suite 248. The Woodlands, TX 77380

 

Port Arthur

United Way of Mid & South Jefferson County

7980 Anchor Dr. Suite 600, Port Arthur, TX 77642

 

Wichita Falls

North Texas Area United Way

1105 Holiday St. Whichita Falls, TX 76301

 

 

 

Opportunity Savings Accounts

The Opportunity Savings Account project, a partnership between  Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation and OpportunityTexas, has partnered with Border Federal Credit Union in Del Rio and Coastal Community Federal Credit Union in Galveston for the past two tax season to offer filers matched savings in these communities.   

 

Filers receive an up-front incentive (Coastal’s filers receive a $25 gift card for opening depositing at least $250 of their refund into the Opportunity Savings Account and Border’s filers receive a $50 gift card for opening and depositing at least $500 of their refund into an Opportunity Savings Account at the VITA site).  Opportunity Savings Account holders are also eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar match on the difference between their initial refund deposit and their ending balance on January 15, 2015 up to $75.

 

 

Participating Communities:

 

Galveston

Coastal Community Federal Credit Union

2302 Church Rear St, Galveston, TX 77550

 

Del Rio

Border Federal Credit Union

2211 N. Bedell Avenue, Del Rio, TX 78840

 

 

 

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