On September 23, 2010, the Aspen Institute Initiative on Financial Security (Aspen IFS) hosted a Congressional briefing, “Tapping Tax Time,” in the Capitol Visitors Center. Moderated by Lisa Mensah, Executive Director of Aspen IFS, the event featured participants Michael Barr, Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the U.S. Treasury; Mark Iwry, Senior Advisor to the Secretary at the U.S. Treasury; Peter Tufano, the Sylvan C. Coleman Professor of Financial Management at Harvard Business School; and Robert Weinberger, Senior Fellow at Aspen IFS.
Mensah opened by summarizing the importance of the tax time moment for financial security. “We’re really focusing on using the annual income tax filing event as a gateway to increase savings, financial inclusion, and really a culture of thrift.” Panelists reaffirmed this goal throughout their presentations. Both Barr and Iwry shared insight on the Administration’s efforts to promote robust savings, discussing Treasury’s recently announced pilot program to open low-cost, safe financial accounts for millions of Americans, and the proposed enhancement of the Saver’s Credit and establishment of Automatic IRAs — both designed to help millions of households build more robust retirement nest eggs.
Tufano and Weinberger rounded out the discussion, explaining particular recent tax incentives and product innovations designed to encourage savings, including the Administration’s program to facilitate bond sales at tax time, and roles that tax intermediaries can play at tax time in financial coaching, increasing savings, and increasing the successful use of tax benefits.
To watch the full event click here.
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