Office of Financial Empowerment
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DCA Releases Report on the Office of Financial Empowerment’s First Three Years
Evaluates Progress of First Program Funded by the Center for Economic Opportunity

Launched by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in December 2006, DCA’s OFE has connected approximately 32,000 New Yorkers to financial classes and counseling, helped 226,000 New Yorkers access free or low-cost tax preparation, facilitated more than $450,000 in savings in households with low incomes through its $aveNYC Account program, advocated for stronger consumer protections in the financial services sector, and more. The report describes the multitude of financial empowerment innovations, strategies, and approaches OFE has implemented thus far—and the national implications for its work, which include building the new field of municipal financial empowerment and founding the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition.
Read the report (in PDF)
Learn more about DCA’s OFE
Learn more about OFE’s initiatives and advocacy and policy
Learn more about the CFE Coalition

 

FREE Financial Empowerment Fair
October 3, 10am to 3pm
Brooklyn Public Library, Central Library
10 Grand Army Plaza

DCA/OFE, in partnership with Brooklyn Public Library, is hosting a free Financial Empowerment Fair. Get one-on-one “Financial Fitness Checkups” in English and Spanish from the City’s Financial Empowerment Center counselors, attend a group workshop, get government benefit screenings, and more.
Download the Financial Empowerment Fair flyer in English or Español
Learn more about the City’s Financial Empowerment Centers

 

With the school season fast approaching, Commissioner Mintz issued smart shopping “homework” tips to help parents make the most of their money and teach their kids money management. As extra credit, parents can schedule a free, one-on-one financial counseling session at one of the City’s Financial Empowerment Centers to take control of any money worries.
Read the press release
Get Quick Lessons for Back-to-School Shopping in English or Español
Parents: Get Smart Money Lessons for Your Kids in English or Español
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you

 

New Yorkers with Low Incomes Save $73,000 in $aveNYC Accounts
DCA Releases First-Year Results of Innovative Pilot Program
Individuals with low and very low incomes can and will save when offered simple and safe banking products at the right moment, according to key findings in the report $aveNYC Account: Innovation in Asset Building. The City’s $aveNYC Account encouraged savings through a match program—50 cents for every dollar saved from a tax refund up to a maximum match amount of $250. Participants had to keep the account open for one year to receive match money, which came from private funding raised with the help of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
Read the press release
Download the report (in PDF)
Learn more about the $aveNYC Account

 

FREE Financial Empowerment Fair
June 27, 10am to 3pm
Queens Central Library, Jamaica

DCA/OFE, in partnership with Queens Library, is holding its first-ever free Financial Empowerment Fair. Get a free one-on-one “Financial Fitness Checkup,” in English and Spanish, from the City’s Financial Empowerment Center counselors, attend a group workshop, get free financial education information, and more.
Download the Financial Empowerment Fair flyer
  (in PDF)
Learn more about the City’s Financial Empowerment Centers

Mayor Bloomberg Opens Three New Financial Empowerment Centers to Help New Yorkers with Money Worries
New Yorkers can now access free financial counseling at the City’s Financial Empowerment Centers in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens in addition to the Bronx. Services are provided by professional counselors in person or by phone in English and Spanish. Opening additional Centers is one of Mayor Bloomberg’s 18 initiatives to help New Yorkers face current economic challenges.
Read the press release
Find a Financial Empowerment Center near you

 

DCA/OFE Urges Federal and State Reforms for Greater Consumer Financial Protections and Better Consumer Banking Products
In comments to the Federal Reserve System and in testimony before Congress and the New York State Banking Department this week, Commissioner Mintz urged:

  • reform of overdraft regulations to end banks' automatic enrollment of consumers in costly overdraft protection programs without their consent;
  • a three-step plan of attack to fight foreclosure and mortgage rescue scams;
  • changes to the State’s Banking Development Districts program to ensure that financial institutions offer safe, affordable financial products that meet the needs of underbanked consumers.

Read DCA/OFE’s comments to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Read CFE Coalition’s comments to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Read Commissioner Mintz's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee
Read Commissioner Mintz’s testimony before the NYS Banking Department
Read DCA/OFE’s Neighborhood Financial Services Study

 

April Is Financial Literacy Month!
Take DCA/OFE’s Financial “Fitness” Challenge
Step 1: Review the checklist of signs you might need financial education.
Step 2: Review the calendar for this month’s free and low-fee financial education programs.
Step 3: Take your first step toward financial empowerment.
Read the press release and get the checklist of signs
View April’s calendar of events
Search the Financial Education Network Directory for free or low-cost help in your neighborhood
Learn more about the Financial Empowerment Center

 

MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES MORE THAN 50,000 NEW YORKERS CLAIMED CITY CHILD CARE TAX CREDITS TOTALLING MORE THAN $30 MILLION IN THE PROGRAM’S FIRST YEAR
New Yorkers who filed for the Child Care Tax Credit (CCTC) last year received an average refund of $600. Part of Mayor Bloomberg’s comprehensive effort to fight poverty, the City’s CCTC is the first local credit in the nation designed to help working families pay for child care expenses for children 3 and younger. The City urges qualifying taxpayers to visit free or low-cost tax assistance sites to claim credits like the CCTC and Earned Income Tax Credit and receive their maximum refund.
Read the press release
Learn more about tax credits for which you might be eligible
Find a free or low-cost tax preparation site in your neighborhood
Know your rights when using a tax preparer:
   English Español   العربية   বাংলা   中文   Kreyòl Ayisyen
   Русский
Get tips to make the most of your tax refund in
   English Español 

 

DCA Issues More Than 1,200 Violations to Income Tax Preparers during Citywide Sweep to Protect Filers
Commissioner Mintz announced that DCA inspectors examined more than 430 tax preparation businesses so far during its ongoing investigation into advertising and sales practices. Top violations included businesses’ deceptive marketing of expensive, high-interest Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) as “rapid” or “instant” refunds. DCA urges New Yorkers to avoid RALs and instead use City-sponsored tax sites to file returns safely and affordably.
Read the press release
Find a free or low-cost tax preparation site in your neighborhood
Learn more about tax credits for which you might be eligible
Know your rights when using a tax preparer:
    English Español   العربية   বাংলা   中文   Kreyòl Ayisyen
   Русский
What you need to know about Refund Anticipation Loans

 

Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Gibbs, and Commissioner Mintz Launch the City's Expanded Campaign to Help New Yorkers File for Tax Credits and Build Savings
Using the Campaign catchphrase "It's Tax Time. Go Get Your Refund!," City officials urged New Yorkers eligible for the Earned Income and NYC Child Care tax credits to file their taxes at free sites or low-cost sites charging only $20 for a professionally prepared return. At select free sites filers can get match money—50¢ for every dollar saved up to $250—when they use their tax refund to open a $aveNYC Account and maintain the original deposit for one year!
Read the press release
Learn more about tax credits for which you might be eligible and free or low-cost tax preparation
Learn more about the $aveNYC Account
Get tips to make the most of your tax refund in
  English  Español

 

Tax season is coming soon…
What will you do with your refund?

Tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and NYC Child Care Tax Credit can put extra money in your pocket. To help New Yorkers build savings, the City is offering eligible filers at participating locations the opportunity to get up to $250 for saving part of their refund in a SaveNYC account.
Learn more about tax credits for which you might be eligible and free or low-cost tax preparation
Learn more about the SaveNYC Account
Get tips to make the most of your tax refund in
   English or Español
Know your rights when using a tax preparer
   
   
 

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