PNC Bank Expands Support of Free Income Tax Preparation and Cashing of Refunds

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Residents of 12 states can benefit from free IRS tax filing advice and avoid high-fee check cashing services

PNC Bank, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., today announced expanded support for the Internal Revenue Service’s program that provides free tax filing and refund check cashing for taxpayers in distressed communities.

PNC’s support was extended from six states to 12 states this year in collaboration with non-profit partners at more than 160 local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. PNC employees who teach classes in financial education will provide additional assistance to the site hosts.

“We want to help taxpayers in low-income communities have easy access to free tax filing services and support, as well as assist ‘unbanked’ individuals in establishing mainstream banking relationships that provide an alternative to high-fee check cashing services,” said Cathy Niederberger, managing director of PNC’s community development banking.

Building on last year’s pilot program, PNC’s expanded participation also provides “unbanked” taxpayers access to free check cashing of state and federal refunds. A new feature this year enables VITA site clients to receive refunds on a pre-loaded card, available in all locations except Michigan and Florida, that is free of fees within the PNC and Allpoint ATM networks.

The cards provide quick, efficient access to state and federal refunds, typically arriving within 5-7 days once the request is placed by the VITA site. The money is available once the taxpayer’s forms are processed by the IRS.

Earned Income Tax Credits
In addition to free tax filing, financial education and refund services, VITA site clients can also get help to determine their eligibility for an Earned Income Tax Credit. Single or married people who worked at some point during 2010 may be eligible, depending on their income. Those who qualify can significantly increase their refund amount by as much as $5,100 for a family of four, according to the IRS.

“The support that financial institutions provide to the VITA program clearly is a benefit to educating taxpayers in low-income communities,” said Rick Byrd, IRS Commissioner, Wage and Investment Division. “We are happy to see taxpayers taking advantage of these volunteer services and appreciate the support of our banking partners.

The program runs through April 30. States with VITA sites participating with PNC Bank include: Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin along with the District of Columbia.

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (http://www.pnc.com) is one of the nation’s largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. Follow @PNCNews on Twitter for breaking news, updates and announcements from PNC.

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JASON BEYERSDORFER
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