Safe Accounts for Immigrants
What is meant by Safe Accounts?A Safe Account is a non-interest bearing savings account. As such, it does not have to be reported to Internal Revenue Service. Offering such an account is legal and approved by NCUA and other regulators.
Who needs Safe Accounts?Many immigrants who come to the U.S. do not have social security numbers or qualify for SSNs. They are able to obtain Individual Tax Identification Numbers or ITINs, but until they get one they may have difficulty opening accounts at mainstream financial institutions which often require SSNs to report interest earned to IRS. Many of these immigrants then are forced to use high cost check cashers to convert their payroll checks into cash. It also means many of them carry their money in their wallets or hide their funds in their homes, making them primary targets for crime.
Other households, for religious purposes, do not desire payment of interest. These households could also benefit with a Safe Account.