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Citizens Bank Foundation provides $50,000 to support Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs across New York

Grants will help local agencies prepare more than 33,000 income tax returns for low- and moderate-income individuals and families

Albany, N.Y. (February 20, 2013) – The Citizens Bank Foundation announced today that it has provided grants totaling $50,000 to community agencies throughout New York State to support Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs for the 2013 tax filing season. These organizations expect to prepare more than 33,000 returns for working individuals and families who fit income guidelines, allowing them to access $55 million to increase their financial sustainability.

"These VITA programs help many low- to moderate-income New Yorkers with their tax preparation and put resources back in their pockets as well as in communities across the state," said James P. Gaspo, president of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, New York. "These agencies provide much-needed programs for those who need assistance with their income tax returns and help individuals and families increase their financial stability and economic independence."

The Citizens Bank Foundation provided grants to the following organizations:

  • United Way of the Greater Capital Region, Inc.: $14,000 grant to support Creating Assets, Savings and Hope (C.A.S.H.) of the Greater Capital Region, a coalition of more than 90 community, business and government agencies, dedicated to helping low-income families achieve financial stability.
  • Commission on Economic Opportunity for the Greater Capital Region, Inc.: $3,500 grant to add an additional day per week for VITA client assistance and to extend the geographic reach of the program.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Washington County: $2,000 grant for its VITA program providing free tax preparation and helping clients to understand the tax return process, financial documents, deductions and tax credits.
  • United Way of Buffalo & Erie County: $12,000 grant to support the Creating Assets, Savings and Hope (C.A.S.H.) program, which brings together more than 70 organizations to improve the financial stability of low-income familes, and serves as the foundation for the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County’s Income platform.
  • Empire Justice Center: $10,000 grant to support Creating Assets, Savings and Hope (C.A.S.H.), a coalition of more than 40 organizations from diverse sectors of the community that work together with the goal of improving the financial well-being of low-income families in Monroe County.
  • People’s Equal Action and Community Effort, Inc. (PEACE): $5,000 grant to support the STABLE program which connects low- income individuals with the tools, skills and support they need to move themselves toward self-sufficiency and economic independence in Onondaga County. The EITC component of STABLE features Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) tax preparation and filing, and provides information and referrals for other community resources.
  • United Way of Broome County, Inc.: $3,500 grant to support the VITA program at three sites in Broome County. By providing needed technical assistance in preparing tax returns, United Way of Broome County provides low-income individuals and families access to more accurate and more complete tax refunds faster.

About the Citizens Bank Foundation
Citizens Bank Foundation is a subsidiary of the Citizens Charitable Foundation, which is a charitable contributions vehicle of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. The foundation’s support is focused on human services, affordable housing and economic development. RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.