Refund Anticipation Loans Cost EITC Filers In Native Communities Over $9,100,000 In 2005

Tax day has come and gone, and this year many people opted to get their tax refund a quick but expensive way: they took out a Refund Anticipation Loan. A Refund Anticipation Loan (or RAL) is a one to two week loan made by banks on behalf of filers, facilitated by tax preparers, and secured by a taxpayer’s expected tax refund. RALs are marketed as a way to “get your money quickly” and result in the users paying substantial fees to access their tax refund usually only five to ten days faster than for tax returns filed electronically. The average expense of the one to two week loan can be the equivalent of 50 to 500 percent APR, depending on the total fee and loan term. According to a report just released by First Nations Development Institute and the Center for Responsible Lending, Refund Anticipation Loans drained over $9,100,000 from Native American communities in 2005.

First Nations Development Institute and the Center for Responsible Lending’s report Borrowed Time: Use of Refund Anticipation Loans Among EITC Filers in Native American Communities documents the use of these costly loan programs on reservations and in other Native American communities. Researchers looked at the use of Refund Anticipation Loans in ten states with high Native American populations, and found that residents in counties with a large Native American population (such as counties with reservations in their boundaries) were more likely to take out Refund Anticipation Loans than residents of other counties. This is true despite the remote rural location of many of these counties, where there are few tax preparation businesses. In South Dakota, residents of counties with a high Native American population are five times as likely to take out a Refund Anticipation Loan. In North Dakota, residents of counties with a high Native American population are 11 times as likely to take out a Refund Anticipation Loan.

Most striking is the fact that the use of RALs is quite high among tax filers receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit in Native communities. The Earned Income Tax Credit was originally designed to supplement the earnings of low-to-moderate income families, and in 2009 a family of four could qualify for up to $4,824 in tax credits. Borrowed Time: Use of Refund Anticipation Loans Among EITC Filers in Native American Communities documents that in some Native communities, over seven out of every ten EITC filers received a RAL. In one county in South Dakota, nine out of every ten EITC filers received a RAL. In South Dakota, 8% of every EITC credit in Native communities was spent on taking out a RAL. This means that eight cents of every $1.00 of EITC credit in Native communities was diverted from its original target, working families, and instead went into the pockets of paid tax preparers.

Because Refund Anticipation Loans have a significant cost for Native communities, Borrowed Time: Use of Refund Anticipation Loans Among EITC Filers in Native American Communities provides recommendations for reducing their use. The first recommendation is to increase and support Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites in and near Native communities to allow filers to access free tax preparation services. In many cases, EITC filers and other filers may simply not be aware that they can access their tax refund without using a RAL. The authors of the report also recommend establishing an interest rate cap for RALs, and conducting public education campaigns in Native communities to encourage people to avoid paying high fees for RALs.

This landmark report is the result of a research study conducted under a grant funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. For more information about this publication, contact Sarah Dewees, Director of Research for First Nations Development Institute, at 540-907-6247 / sdewees@firstnations.org; or visit First Nations Development Institute’s website at www.firstnations.org to download a free copy of the paper.

Through a three-pronged strategy of Educating Grassroots Practitioners, Advocating Systemic Change, and Capitalizing Indian Communities, First Nations is working to restore Native control and culturally-compatible stewardship of the assets they own – be they land, human potential, cultural heritage, or natural resources – and to establish new assets for ensuring the long-term vitality of Native communities.

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Century Models And Talent Agency Has Recently Conducted A Charity Fashion Show To Benefit The Cancer Society

Century Models and Talent Agency has recently conducted a Charity Fashion Show to benefit the Cancer Society, IN COLLABORATION with a local designer, Jonathan Price. They made sure all the name brand models they represent should be on the ramp for a probable cause.

Century Models and Talent Agency always believes in giving something to the community in some way or the other. Last year they had there models clean cars on King Street, and all the money collected was given to the United Way. Century Models and Talent Talent Agency would like to convey to there competitors to start helping out in some form or the other. We wish them luck and thank the models for there time and hard work.

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npower Sponsored Basketball Team, Worcester Wolves, Will Be Making Their Opponents Green With Envy As They Revamp Their Warm-Up Strip And Shoot For Macmillan In A Charity Fundraiser Match

The team has joined with club sponsors npower in becoming a lean, green, fighting machine, raising awareness and vital funds for Macmillan Cancer Support when they meet the Sheffield Sharks at their last home game of the season on 19th April. The game tips at 4pm at the Wolves’ home venue at the University of Worcester.

Fans will be invited to join in the fun, with giant Macmillan foam hands and Macmillan merchandise on sale, a blind auction and a shoot-out for a pound per play at half-time, with proceeds going to the cancer charity.

In addition to the fundraising activity, npower has pledged to donate £50 for every three pointer scored during the match by the Worcester Wolves.

Worcester Wolves’ head coach, Skouson Harker, said: “We are delighted to be able to back such a worthwhile cause. The team is busy gearing up to go out on court in green, and hard at work to make sure we get the most out of npower’s three-pointer pledge.”

Spokesperson for Macmillan, Emily Leggett, said: “This charity match is an ideal way to get our messages out to the community about the range of services we offer to help people affected by cancer. With as little as a pound, we can make sure our information reaches one more person, and that could make all the difference.”

As club sponsor and partner to Macmillan, npower has previously worked with the Wolves in a range of fundraising initiatives, including coffee mornings and sporting events.

Carol Hart, community involvement manager at npower, said: “We will be rooting for the Wolves on Sunday as they raise money for Macmillan, and hopefully win the match, by racking up those three-pointers.”

1. Macmillan Cancer Research has been npower’s charity partner since 2004, with a partnership valued at £2.6 million.

2. Worcester Wolves club sponsor npower is the supplier of green energy to Wembley Stadium and the Liberty Stadium in Swansea. npower also sponsors the Test Match Series in England, Women’s Test Series, the Twenty20 Cup and the Village Cup.

About npower:
npower, sponsors of the 2009 npower Ashes Series, is one of Britain’s largest electricity suppliers and supplies gas, electricity and related services to 6.6 million customers across the UK.

RWE npower has been awarded the prestigious CommunityMark from Business in the Community (BITC). npower is the only utility business, amongst 21 other companies in the UK, to receive this accolade. The CommunityMark is a new BITC standard which has been created to recognise companies that are good investors in local communities and who have brought about real and positive changes.

The npower Active programme, which is run in partnership with the English Federation of Disability Sport, has been awarded a prestigious ‘Silver Big Tick’ by Business in the Community.

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The Npower Midlands Disability Sports Awards 2009 Were Well Attended As Twenty Of The Region’s Paralympians Were At Aston Villa FC To Celebrate The Achievements Of Disabled Athletes From Across The West Midlands

The npower Midlands Disability Sports Awards 2009 were well attended as twenty of the region’s paralympians, along with Sports Minister, Gerry Sutcliffe MP, were at Aston Villa FC to celebrate the achievements of disabled athletes from across the West Midlands.

Warwickshire Cricket Club won the npower Partnership Award for its development work extending access to the sport to players with physical and learning disabilities. Aston Villa Disability Football Club was the Sports Club of the Year and Team of the Year were wheelchair basketball’s Wolverhampton Rhinos.

Sprinter and Bath University student, Katrina Hart from Redditch, took home the trophy for Female Sports Personality of the Year award. Katrina is in her first year of her degree in Sports Performance; she was nominated for her achievements in Beijing, despite a hamstring injury.

Luke Sugg, from Winyates Green, was narrowly beaten to the Male Sports Personality of the Year title by wheelchair racing silver medallist, Mickey Bushell from Telford. Sherbourne Fields School PE teacher, Luned Lewis, from Coventry, was presented with the prestigious Ambassador of Disability Sport award for her lifelong support of disability sport and young athletes.

Swimmer Francesca O’Connor from Kidderminster won the Young Female Achiever of the Year title. Penn Hall School, in Wolverhampton, won the School of the Year Award for its amazing sporting successes. Penn Hall’s participation rates at regional and national sporting events are the highest of any school in the West Midlands and it is one of only a few special schools to offer accredited PE courses and Sports Leadership Awards to its students.

Kevin Rodgers, community involvement executive for awards sponsor, npower, who was on the judging panel commented: “Every year the quality of the nominees is higher and higher; the judging panel had its work cut out to make the right decisions. The winners are worthy of their awards but it should be noted that some exceptional organisations didn’t make the short list due to the high standards of the judging criteria.”

The event was organised by the English Federation of Disability Sports. Dennis Hodgkins, regional development manager at the EFDS said he was delighted with the support from both the Minister and the paralympic athletes and, “For youngsters like Francesca, having the opportunity to meet their heroes is an occasion never forgotten. The likes of Nyree Lewis, Lee Pearson and Sinclair Thomas are wonderful role models to, and motivators of, young athletes who will be future international sports stars. It was a tremendous occasion.”

 

About npower:
Npower, sponsors of the 2009 npower Ashes Series, is one of Britain’s largest electricity suppliers and supplies gas, electricity and related services to 6.6 million customers across the UK.

RWE npower has been awarded the prestigious CommunityMark from Business in the Community (BITC). npower is the only utility business, amongst 21 other companies in the UK, to receive this accolade. The CommunityMark is a new BITC standard which has been created to recognise companies that are good investors in local communities and who have brought about real and positive changes.

The npower Active programme, which is run in partnership with the English Federation of Disability Sport, has been awarded a prestigious ‘Silver Big Tick’ by Business in the Community.

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Tracesmart Sponsors Adoption Agency

In line with Tracesmart’s corporate social responsibility charter, the company has aligned itself with leading adoption agency and charity, AAA-Norcap. The synergy that exists between the two organisations made the charity an obvious recipient for Tracesmart’s sponsorship and support. AAA-Norcap is a specialist adoption support agency, offering those involved in adoption cases tracing assistance to find relatives and an intermediary service; it also holds the longest established UK adoption contact register.

The charity, based in Oxfordshire, was established more than 25 years ago to provide a nationwide service, supporting and guiding adults whose lives have been touched by adoption. Tracesmart supplies online people search and address search facilities – which are driven by the electoral roll and various other datasets – but is not registered to provide an intermediary service in adoption cases. However the company is occasionally approached by individuals with the need for an adoption related search, and when such tracing enquiries occur they are referred to AAA-Norcap.

Locating people lost through adoption is not a simple clear-cut procedure; it needs to be approached very carefully as the outcome of the search could have far-reaching consequences for both the searcher and the searched; good reason for Tracesmart to call on the experience of AAA-Norcap when such an enquiry arises. As part of the sponsorship program, Tracesmart will feature AAA-Norcap case studies on its website in the ‘Success Stories’ section, which is the home of a campaign to highlight the effectiveness of the Tracesmart’s online people search and address search facilites. Stories provided by the charity can be remarkable and very moving.

About Tracesmart
Owen Roberts, Tracesmart’s Communications Manager, commented, “We are very pleased and proud to be able to sponsor AAA-Norcap, who provide an invaluable service to people affected by adoption. The ongoing sponsorship will further strengthen the relationship between our two organisations, and has provided the added benefit of AAA-Norcap being able to assist a few of Tracesmart’s customers too. Both organisations really do complement each other.”

  • Owen Roberts has worked in the creative, advertising and communications industries for over 25 years and is the voice of Tracesmart. Heading up the communications team, he raises the public awareness of the company through various media driven PR campaigns.
  • Tracesmart Ltd. – Since the launch of its website in 2004, Tracesmart Limited has established itself as one of the UK’s leading providers of online people tracing tools. The online tracing facility (www.tracesmart.co.uk) combines state of the art search technology with an extensive collection of consumer data, offering one of the most powerful and successful systems to trace people in the country.