March 17th, 2010
The Citi Foundation has won a 2010 Community Reinvestment Award for its support of the Corporation for Enterprise Development's Self-Employment Tax Initiative, a national project that delivers business development services to low-income entrepreneurs during the annual income tax filing process.
During the 2007, 2008 and 2009 tax seasons, the SETI program partnered with 31 community-based organizations in 23 states who collectively assisted over 20,000 low- to moderate-income self-employed tax filers with submission of their annual tax returns, saving them over $2.1 million in tax preparation fees. About $14 million in capital was provided in earned-income tax credits to the 9,600 small business owners. Of these, 44% had no formal income beyond self-employment and about half reported adjusted gross income of less than $40,000. In the current 2009/2010 tax season, the SETI program expects to serve over 13,000 disadvantaged self-employed businesses, many of who will be eligible for the newly implemented Making Work Pay tax credit.
Brandee McHale, Director of Programs for the Citi Foundation, said at the award ceremony in New Orleans today, "We are thrilled to support CFED's innovative SETI program which has successfully seized the opportunity to use the annual tax preparation process as a "teachable moment" providing thousands of entrepreneurs with access to capital, training and business development services they need to successfully manage and grow their enterprises."
The Citi Foundation has a long history of supporting nonprofit organizations whose programs help low- to moderate-income individuals launch or grow their microenterprises in the U.S., investing more than $16.8 million in the sector over the past 10 years. It is estimated that there are currently 24 million microenterprises in the U.S., representing 18% of all private sector employment, or one in six private sector workers.
The Citi Foundation is committed to the economic empowerment of individuals and families, particularly those in need, in the communities where we work so that they can improve their standard of living. Globally, the Citi Foundation targets its strategic giving to priority focus areas: Microfinance and Microenterprise, Small and Growing Businesses, College and Careers, and Financial Capability and Asset Building. In the United States, the Citi Foundation also supports Neighborhood Revitalization programs. The Citi Foundation works with its partners in Microfinance and Microenterprise, Small and Growing Businesses, and Neighborhood Revitalization to support environmental programs and innovations.