Tax Filing and Other Financial Behaviors of EITC-Eligible Households: Differences of Banked and Unbanked
12 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2012 Last revised: 10 Feb 2012
Date Written: January 27, 2012
Holding a bank account is crucial to the income-maximizing and asset-building of households. This study uses 2008 survey data of EITC-eligible households assisted at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites to document their tax filing behavior and use of Alternate Financial Services (AFS). Specifically, the differences in tax filing and AFS use between banked and unbanked EITC-eligible households are examined. Findings reveal that unbanked status is associated with a lower likelihood of receiving a federal tax refund for tax year 2007 (TY 2007), a lower likelihood of filing a federal tax return for the previous tax year (TY 2006), a lower likelihood of receiving tax refunds via direct deposit or cashing at banks, and a higher likelihood of using check cashing stores. Findings suggest that policy changes and educational efforts should continue to focus on bringing the unbanked into the financial mainstream.
Keywords: alternative financial services, banking status, EITC, tax filing experience, unbanked
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation