Michael Morris, National Disability Institute, (202) 521-2931
Community-Based Free Tax Help Initiative Expands
to 54 Cities Nationwide
Major Turning Point for Low-income Wage Earners with Disabilities
Washington, DC (October 24, 2006)
— Today, IRS Commissioner Mark Everson joined the National Disability Institute, Ford Foundation, NCB Capital Impact, NCB and five national disability groups to unveil results of a pilot program that is a major turning point toward financial independence for underserved Americans with disabilities. Commissioner Everson encouraged strong support for the nationwide pilot program, TAXfacts+ Campaign, a public-private collaboration to improve long-term economic independence for Americans with disabilities.
“We share a consistent message,” said IRS Commissioner Mark Everson. "The IRS is proud to be a partner with the National Disability Institute, NCB Capital Impact, and the other national organizations in this effort to ensure that low-income persons with disabilities are aware of the tax benefits to which they are entitled and have access to community-based free tax preparation programs. We applaud the efforts of our partners to link these IRS supported free tax preparation programs to financial literacy and other asset building efforts."
“Based on the overwhelming response and impact from the pilot TAXfacts+ Campaign, the public-private partnership will expand the program in 2007 to a 54-city ‘Real Economic Impact Tour,’ announced NDI Director Michael Morris, and NCB Capital Impact President Terry Simonette. “We project the 2007 Real Economic Impact Tour will assist over 25,000 persons with disabilities and generate over $20 million in Earned Income Tax Credit refunds which will in turn impact economies in participating cities,” they added. The 2006 campaign engaged over 200 local and national groups such as Goodwill International, National Easter Seals Society, the ARC, and the National Council on Independent Living to assist over 17,000 persons with disabilities.
The 2006 TAXfacts+ Campaign served as a platform for data collection for the research unveiled today. This research, funded by Ford Foundation and matched by NCB, is the first-ever financial portrait of low-income wage earners with disabilities. Findings are detailed in the report,
Educating Democracy: Tax and Financial Service Needs of Working Americans with Disabilities
. “Less than half of individuals surveyed had a checking or savings account. Less than 10 percent are current homeowners and most had no relationship with a local financial institution. None had any experience with Individual Development Accounts or matched savings plans. Fifty-eight percent of taxpayers with a disability surveyed reported incomes of $15,000 or less,” noted Dr. Johnette Hartnett, NDI Director of Research.
“For financial institutions, the research findings, while only a glimpse of a market sector, set the stage for outreach and customized services to be tested, refined, and expanded as purchasing power and financial needs of consumers with disabilities grow. For policymakers at all levels of government this report is a wake-up call for policy reform that reduces barriers to economic advancement and build incentives that encourage income and asset development,” commented NDI’s Morris.
To receive a full copy of the report or more information about the Real Economic Impact Tour, please visit:
About the National Disability Institute
The National Disability Institute (NDI) is a national research and development organization that promotes income preservation and asset development for persons with disabilities nationwide.www.ndi-inc.org
About NCB Capital Impact
NCB Capital Impact, formerly known as NCB Development Corporation, is the non-profit affiliate of NCB. NCB Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance to create more affordable cooperative homeownership, assisted living, housing and services for the frail and elderly, and facilities for healthcare centers and charter schools. Headquartered in Washington, DC, NCB Capital Impact has offices in California and New York. To learn more about NCB Capital Impact, visit www.ncbcapitalimpact.org.
# # #