Treasury Dept. Announces Elimination of Paper Bonds – Action Needed!
While the tax time savings bond program is safe, your help is needed to ensure our clients are being served!
This week the Treasury Department officially announced that they are eliminating the paper savings bond program (the over the counter program) as of January 1, 2012. Some good news (and a result of our shared effort) – the tax time program will still continue – tax filers will still be able to split their refund into Series I paper bonds. Tax time will be the only time that Americans can purchase paper savings bonds.
While we are THRILLED that our work helped demonstrate the importance of the tax-time program and it is protected for the upcoming tax season, we now have even more work to do to ensure that between now and the end of the paper bond program, there is a suitable alternative in addition to Treasury Direct for savings bond purchase. Some of the work that the Savings Bond Working Group is doing:
- Conducting user tests of Treasury Direct to demonstrate the challenges of using the site to make simple bond purchases
- Providing recommendations to Treasury to improve Treasury Direct to make it more user-friendly and effective
- Developing product models for the next version of the U.S. Savings Bond
- Reaching out to legislators to inform them of Treasury’s decision and asking them to send letters to Treasury to delay the elimination of the program until there is a suitable alternative product and a plan for implementation
So, WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP!!! Please:
- Contact your Senator or Congressperson to let them know about this announcement
- Share your concerns with them about the elimination of the program and access to good savings products for small and low-income savers
- Suggest that they write a letter to Treasury to ask them to delay elimination of the paper bond program until they have a tested alternative product that is proven effective for all Americans
I would be very happy to provide any information you need as you talk to legislators or participate in meetings or calls. Thanks to the Campaign for Working Families in Philly and WISER in West Virginia for beginning this process with their Senators.
Please let me know if you have any questions about this announcement. Again, while we are disappointed in the announcement overall, thanks to YOUR effort and help, the tax time program is protected. That is a huge accomplishment and something that will continue to have impact in the years to come.
Joanna also serves as co-chair of the National Community Tax Coalition’s Steering Committee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.