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1 April 9, 2013 Mr. Jacob Joseph Jack Lew Secretary of the Treasury of the United States 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC RE: The Future of the U.S. Savings Bonds at Tax Time Preserving Access and Promoting an Inclusive Future for American Taxpayers Dear Mr. Secretary, Congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, on behalf of the Savings Bond Working Group. We are a 6-year-old coalition of national and grassroots non-profit organizations, commercial tax preparers, tax software firms, and public officials. We write to commend the Department for its decision to continue ensuring American taxpayers access to U.S. Savings Bonds at tax time, through tax season Furthermore, we ask for your expressed and continued commitment to preserving and modernizing access to U.S. Savings Bonds as a secure, simple, and powerful savings tool for working Americans at tax time. We understand that in an increasingly digital world, the ongoing transition from paper to electronic bonds is, ultimately, likely to permeate the tax time savings bond (TTSB) policy. However we are aware that Treasury has not fully prepared for the transition of the TTSB policy to an electronic system. As you likely saw in letters from U.S. Senators and Representatives sent to your office, they too are committed to the tax-time savings bonds policy. Moreover, Senators Brown, Cardin, Cantwell, and Rockefeller have asked: In the first possible tax season, the IRS should begin offering tax filers in select pilot sites the opportunity to sign up for a TreasuryDirect account through Form After testing the electronic program and making the necessary adjustments, the IRS should then begin offering the TreasuryDirect option immediately to all filers so that the Bureau of Public Debt (BPD) can continue their successful taxtime savings bond program at the least possible cost. This will also have the added benefit of bringing thousands of new savers into the TreasuryDirect system. 1 Your Department plays a central and unique role in preserving the universal access to tax-time savings bonds that our members and constituents have come to trust and use year after year. Knowing that the policy will survive into 2014 provides time to explore ways to modify the existing policy to conform with Treasury s transition to electronic bonds. As such, we echo the Senators request that you pilot a taxtime solution that while modernizing for the digital transition still retains the attractive features of the paper-based policy. These include: 1 Letter to Secretary Lew from Senators, dated March 4, 2013.

2 Gifting the ability to gift a savings bond using a portion of the tax refund with ease Helping the unbanked the ability for those without bank accounts to use a portion of their tax refund to save in bonds Simplicity the ability to use information already on the tax form to order bonds with minimal or, preferably, no additional information needed. The Savings Bonds Working Group has worked closely with the Bureau of Public Debt, the Internal Revenue Service, and Treasury since 2005 to help bring the tax-time savings bond policy to life and nurture its success. As such, we are sympathetic to the constraints and concerns of modernizing the policy. We are committed to working with your Department to preserve the role of U.S. Savings Bonds as a secure and powerful savings tool for working Americans. We respectfully ask to hear from the Treasury Department regarding its plan for the future of the tax time savings bond program by April 30, 2013, so that we can continue our work promoting U.S. Savings Bonds and designing pilots to test new modernizations to the infrastructure. We also request to meet with you or your designee(s) in the coming weeks to further explore with you any reasonable and promising possibilities for strengthening taxpayers tax-time access to U.S. Savings Bonds. Most sincerely, Tim Flacke Executive Director, Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund Point of Contact, The Savings Bond Working Group (617) John Thompson President, ADVENT Financial Lisa Mensah Executive Director, Initiative on Financial Security, The Aspen Institute

3 Dallas Salisbury Chairman, American Savings Education Council (ASEC) Sara Johnson Director, Baltimore CASH Campaign (Maryland) Mary Arthur Interim Director, Campaign for Working Families, Inc. (Pennsylvania) Karen Heisler Director, Asset Development, CCCS/Rural Dynamics (Montana) David Marzahl President, Center for Economic Progress (Illinois) Andrea Levere President, CFED Laura Rosen OpportunityTexas Coordinator, Center for Public Policy Priorities (Texas)

4 Margaret M. Clancy Director, College Savings Initiative and Policy Director, Center for Social Development Washington University in St. Louis (Missouri) Nancy P. Register Associate Director, Consumer Federation of America Donna Gallagher Executive Director, The Collaborative (North Carolina) Patricia Hasson President, Clarifi Wanda DeBruler DeBruler, Inc. Geoff Brown Executive Director, Denver Asset Building Coalition (Colorado)

5 Rita Eygabroad Garretson C.A.S.H. Director, Empire Justice Center (New York) Mae Watson Grote Executive Director, The Financial Clinic (New York) Karen Lyons Serna Director of Asset Building Programs, Foundation Communities (Texas) Fred Goldberg Former IRS Commissioner Robin McKinney Director, Maryland CASH Campaign (Maryland) Jackie Lynn Coleman Executive Director, National Community Tax Coalition

6 Carol L. Davis Financial Services Director, Nehemiah Gateway CDC VIP Business Services, Delaware EITC Campaign (Delaware) Reid Cramer Director, Asset Building Program, New America Foundation Meredith Dodson Director of Domestic (U.S. Poverty) Campaigns RESULTS: The Power to End Poverty Courtney Noble Impact Manager, United Way of King County (Washington) Dennis Smith President & CEO, United Way of Snohomish County (Washington) Peter Tufano Peter Moores Dean and Professor of Finance, University of Oxford, Saïd Business School Chairman, Doorways to Dreams Fund

7 Diane L. Browning Rural Retirement Coordinator, WISER Rural Retirement Project (West Virginia) CC: Cyrus Amir-Mokri, Assistant Secretary for, Financial Institutions, U.S. Department of the Treasury Richard L. Gregg, Fiscal Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of the Treasury Mark Iwry, Senior Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary for Retirement and Health Policy Steven T. Miller, Acting Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service Van Zeck, Commissioner of the Public Debt, the Bureau of the Public Debt

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