“In spite of all the complexity, the tax season can be a very powerful time to encourage individuals and families to review their finances and to commit to saving for the future,” said the Honorable Jovita Carranza, Treasurer of the United States, in her keynote remarks at the September 25th event Financial Empowerment and the Tax Time Moment.

Treasurer Carranza shared with the audience members her personal journey of achieving the American dream – working her way up from an entry level position with UPS, to now, as part of her position, having her name printed on US currency bills. And she shared how the mission of the Office of the Treasurer – to foster economic growth and stability – relies on methods like empowering people through the tax filing season.

Following Treasurer Carranza remarks, the event included an expert panel on “Government Initiatives to Help Power Financial Freedom.” Panelist included Mary Arthur, with the Campaign for Working Families, who spoke about VITA programs, James Kirby, with the US Conference of Mayors, who detailed work on DollarWise and BankOn initiatives at the local level, and Scott Pattison, with the National Governors Association, who shared info about several state efforts on financial literacy education.  The panel was moderated by Corey Carlisle with the American Bankers Association Foundation.

The second panel on consumers and what motivates them to save included expert panelist Michal Grinstein-Weiss with Washington University’s Center for Social Development, Timothy Flacke with Commonwealth, and Allie Vered with the Consumer Federation of America and moderated by John Breyault with the National Consumers League. Grinstein-Weiss shared details on the Refund to Savings initiative through which small changes in the tax filing process have helped thousands of new savers allocate nearly 40 million dollars in savings. Vered spoke about the national opportunity to engage consumers in conversations on savings and support savers by reducing the friction on their journeys to being savers. Flacke reminded us that people fundamentally want to save and it’s imperative that we help find ways to help people get to where they already want to go. And importantly, at the end of the day being financially empowered means both having security and aspiration.

The event, held at the Capitol was hosted by the Intuit Tax and Financial Center, the National Consumers League, and the American Bankers Association Foundation.

Full video of the event can be viewed below:

Part 1: Remarks from Treasurer Carranza and Panel 1 on Government Initiatives to Help Power Financial Freedom


Part 2: Panel 2 on Consumers and What Motivates Them to Save?