January 24, 2017

Savings Resources (for Tax Sites)

Why Savings Matters

American households, including low- and moderate-income (LMI) households in particular, do not have enough savings to cover unforeseen expenses. Nationally representative data from the Pew Charitable Trusts (2015a) find that 41% of households do not have liquid savings to cover a $2,000 expense in the case of an emergency; for low-income families that rate increases to 78%. Yet, financial emergencies are frequent: 60% of American households report a financial shock within the past year (Pew Charitable Trusts, 2015b).


Resources for Sites

  1. Savings Integration Manual
    • This manual will help site coordinator’s think about Savings as an integral part of their VITA operations. Get information on the importance of savings, how to implement and integrate it at your tax site and other useful tips and tricks!
    • Instructions for how to complete Form 8888 Split Refund on TaxSlayer: TaxSlayer Blog Post

  2. Client Savings Video – Do you have a TV screen or large monitor in your waiting area? You may be interested in running the EKS savings video. Short and informative video on the importance of savings at Tax Time!
  3. Thermometer – track your goal!
  4. Volunteer Cheat Sheet – This very handy sheet can help you outline steps to helping clients save for your volunteers. Print and post near your tax preparation desk. This can really help remind volunteers to ask clients if they’re interested in saving part of their refund!
  5. Training videos: Why Save? and How to Save


Client Incentives

savers card
Clients have two opportunities to WIN big when they Save part of their refund!

  1. EKS Savings Raffle: local savings raffle. Save at least $50, via split refund (Form 8888), and enter to win $100. Winners will be drawn in mid-March and late-April.
    • Link to local EKS Savings Raffle: www.surveymonkey.com/r/saveraffle
    • Note: You will need to enter the client’s:
      1. First and last name
      2. Phone number
      3. Email
      4. Tax site name
  2. National Save Your Refund Drawingwww.SaveYourRefund.com
    • For weekly, you will need:
      1. Contact Info – First and last name, Phone number AND/OR email, Zip code, State of Residence, Tax preparation site
      2. Savings Info – Total amount of refund, Amount deposited in each account, Type of each account used, Amount used to purchase bonds (if applicable)
    • For Grand Prize Photo Contest, you will need everything above plus a photo and a caption.


Other Savings Resources

  1. Connecting Your Clients to Savings: Promoting Tax Time Savings (from Prosperity Now) – Listen to the recording and view the slides https://prosperitynow.org/events/connecting-your-clients-savings-promoting-tax-time-savings

  2. CFPB Savings Material– EKS is part of a national movement to increase Savings at Tax Time. Go here for more information: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/tax-preparer-resources/

  3. EARN Starter Savings Account