Office of Financial Empowerment
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Create an App to Help New Yorkers with Their Finances
OFE is a BigIdeas Sponsor for NYC BigApps 2014. OFE challenges the tech community to create a tool that uses gamification to engage people to track and manage their finances.
Learn more about NYC BigApps 2014


OFE Partner Capital One to Stop Using ChexSystems, Removing a Barrier to Opening Bank Accounts for New Yorkers with Low Incomes
Read statement by DCA Commissioner Menin
Read press release by Attorney General Schneiderman


DCA Joins U.S. Department of State, Organization of American States, and Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund to Share Strategies from Financial Empowerment Work with Latin American and Caribbean Governments at Two-Day Conference
Incoming DCA Commissioner Julie Menin delivered opening remarks at the conference “Partnerships for Financial Inclusion: A Catalyst for Inclusive Growth,” which is April 29-30 in New York City. The conference, which also convenes New York-based financial institutions and foundations, aims to share successful experiences with financial empowerment programs, products, and services to address needs and challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean.
View OFE presentation at event  
Learn about OFE initiatives


Mayor de Blasio Appoints Julie Menin as DCA Commissioner
A former small business owner, regulatory attorney, and community leader, Commissioner Menin will lead the administration’s engagement efforts with businesses and consumers to ensure the City’s consumer protection laws are followed, inspector fines are fairly levied, and consumer complaints are handled quickly and efficiently.
Read the press release


CFED Releases Findings of Assessing Financial Capability Outcomes Pilot in Partnership with the Treasury Department and OFE
Research Examined Impact of Integrating Access to Banking and Financial Counseling in the City’s Parks Opportunity Program

This pilot, which examined financial behaviors of participants enrolled in a transitional work program, found that those who received financial counseling were less likely to be late paying bills. The research also showed that participants’ access to a safe, affordable bank account with direct deposit dramatically increased their banked status, which increased from one-third to almost 60 percent.
Read CFED’s “Financial Counseling & Access for the Financially Vulnerable"
   Full Report     Research Brief
Read Treasury Department's blog post 
Learn more about NYC’s Financial Empowerment Centers


Tax Day was April 15. However, you can still file your 2013 tax return for free.
Learn if you qualify to file your taxes for free 
Read Tax Credit Fast Facts
Getting a refund? Visit a Financial Empowerment Center for free one-on-one financial counseling


DCA and Consulate General of Mexico in New York Launch First “Financial Counseling Window” at Consulate
New Service Addresses Need Identified in Immigrant Financial Services Study  
Named Ventanilla de Asesoría Financiera in Spanish, the program offers Mexican New Yorkers who visit the Consulate free one-on-one professional financial counseling to help them achieve greater financial security, as well as access to other Consulate services. The program is delivered in partnership with Citi Community Development, Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund, Ariva, and Qualitas of Life Foundation. 
Read the press release
Read Immigrant Financial Services Study
Learn about the City’s Financial Empowerment Centers

OFE Releases Brief about Pilot to Expand Free Tax Filing Options 
Virtual VITA: Expanding Free Tax Preparation/Program Insights details New York City’s experience integrating Virtual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) at two New York City Head Start programs in 2013. The Virtual VITA model uses technology to connect a filer with an off-site VITA tax preparer and has enormous potential to expand free tax preparation services at incredibly low cost.
Download the brief
It’s Tax Time. Go Get Your Refund!
Subway Ads Alert New Yorkers about City’s Free Tax Filing Options 
Learn how you can file your taxes for free and claim refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and NYC Child Care Tax Credit (NYC CCTC). Filing options include:
     • Free tax preparation by a certified volunteer
       Annual income $52,000 or less (with children)
       or $18,000 or less (no children)
     • Free online tax preparation
       Annual income $58,000 or less
Gather your tax documents now. Services begin
Jan. 17.
Learn more about tax filing options in 
   English   Spanish  Chinese   
   Haitian Creole  Korean  Russian
Learn which tax documents you need
Learn about the EITC
Learn about the NYC CCTC