If You Promise To Invest For 1 Year, City Will Give You 50 Cents On The Dollar

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A tax-time savings program aims to put free money in the hands of some qualified New Yorkers.

It seems area residents know exactly how they’ll spend their refund before the check hits the bank – vacation, gifts, self indulgences. Others dream of saving for the long haul, be it for themselves or their children.

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It turns out if you’re willing to save your money it could mean free money for you, reports CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock.

The city program is called “SaveUSA.” Now, understand, you have to commit a year to saving. There are only 1,600 slots available citywide and there are household income limits: $50,000 with children, $18,000 without children, and a minimum refund of $200.

“SaveUSA is a tax-time saving program and what it does is it takes advantage of this money moment,” said Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz.

For some, it’s a magic moment when they get their hands on their single biggest check of the year. And, that check may translate to more dough if you head to one of the city’s free tax service sites.

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“The preparer will say to you, split off your check before it hits your pocket, before your brother-in-law can get his hands on it. If you put part of your refund in a special account for a year, we match you 50 cents on the dollar,” Mintz said.

“It’s zero risk. People can pull their money out at any time for any reason.”

If you do that, you lose the 50 percent match. Conversely, if you keep your money in the account the money can add up.

For example: deposit $1,000 of your refund and the city matches that with $500. At the end of the year you have $1,500 plus interest at your disposal, Please note: $500 is the maximum match.

To learn more about SaveUSA, please click here. You can also call 311. A similar program is available in Newark, N.J.

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