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Tax-Time Savings Among Low-Income Households in the $aveNYC Program

This article explores savings outcomes for participants in the $aveNYC tax-time matched savings program compared with a group of New York City tax filers who were not offered the program. $aveNYC was administered at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites during the 2008–2010 tax seasons. The program offered taxpayers the opportunity to open a savings account with their tax refund and receive a 50% match on their initial deposit. The study’s primary outcome is savings held by respondents 6–11 months after receipt of matching funds. We compare participants in the 2009 program cohort to a comparison group on the following outcomes: level of savings, having nonzero savings, and having enough savings to cover one or two months of expenses at current consumption levels. We find significant differences on savings levels, the presence of any savings, and the likelihood of having savings to meet one month’s expenses.

Citation

Key, C., Tucker, J. N., Grinstein-Weiss, M., & Comer, K. (2015). Tax-time savings among low-income households in the $aveNYC Program. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 49(3), 498–518. doi:10.1111/joca.12070