Family Finances

The Freedom Savings Credit: A Practical Step to Build Americans’ Household Balance Sheets

February 17, 2012  • Lisa Mensah, Raymond O'Mara III, Colby Farber, Robert Weinberger

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Building Americans’ household balance sheets should start with making savings and asset-building incentives more efficient and equitable. Although millions of working Americans currently receive little or no tax incentive to save, modest reforms to our tax code have the potential to dramatically improve their financial futures. The Aspen Institute on Financial Security (Aspen IFS) proposes the Freedom Savings Credit to create a more equitable and economically efficient savings system that will benefit millions of American households and the nation as a whole. The Freedom Savings Credit, deposited directly into qualified savings accounts, would provide each qualified saver with a $1 refundable tax credit for every $2 saved, giving a taxpayer the opportunity to receive up to $500 annually as a single filer or $1,000 as a married couple filing jointly.  Enacting the Freedom Savings Credit would transform savings opportunities and outcomes for millions of Americans, helping to build household financial security and grow our nation’s economy.