When you file your tax returns or apply for government benefits you are required by law to provide relevant personal information so that an accurate determination of eligibility or tax obligation may be made. Communally obtains this relevant personal information in order to submit an accurate application or tax return and to provide you an accurate assessment of your eligibility for benefits or an estimate of your tax obligation. Additionally, the personal information collected in the account creation process is used to properly identify you as the owner of your account during account log in.
Communally collects and stores certain personal information about you and the individuals in your household. This includes, but is not limited to names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, income, expenses, assets, and in some cases, information about your health and the health of family members. We only collect and store personal information that you, the client, enter into the system or give to a counselor to enter into the system. The information you enter into the system is stored and analyzed so we can estimate your eligibility for benefits or services you are interested in. Additionally, benefit applications and tax forms will be filled out with the information you enter into the service, and in some cases, will be electronically filed with the appropriate government agency. We keep the information we collect so you can access it in the future and do not need to re-enter all your information again when you return.
Keeping your information secure is a shared responsibility. You can help keep your information secure by choosing a unique password, changing your password periodically, and not sharing your username or password with anyone.
If you are working with a counselor, he or she may keep information about your address and phone number available in order to schedule appointments or inform you about appointment changes. If you agree, the site may also keep your contact information to follow up with you to see if you have received what you applied for or if you need further assistance.
We may also use the information you enter into our service to create combined statistical data that looks at groups of clients as a whole. This data does NOT contain any personally identifiable information. Analyzing this data helps us better understand the needs of our clients and develop ways to improve our services. This information is used internally in our organization. We may also share this aggregated data for reporting and marketing purposes with sponsoring organizations, local user site organizations, or potential new sponsoring affiliates of The Benefit Bank® online service. The information is used by these organizations to assess the value of these services to the populations they serve. None of this information identifies you individually.
For tax filing, we collect and send certain device information when we transmit your return to the IRS. Information we collect includes, among other things, device type, operating system, unique identifiers, IP address, location, browser type and language, and header information such as URLs and date/time stamps. This information is sent only to the IRS and/or your state department of revenue/taxation with the purpose of improving fraud and ID theft detection.
Communally will NOT make disclosures of any user's (or former user's) nonpublic personal information to affiliates or nonaffiliated third parties, except as authorized by law. If you are using The Benefit Bank® online service to file taxes, we may request additional consent to use your tax information for third party aggregate reporting or for use in filling out other benefit applications that require individual income tax information, such as FAFSA and property tax applications.
Communally may ask for consent to contact you or to allow a government agency to contact you. If you agree to this, we may use your contact information only for the specific purposes you agree to. We will never require you to consent to be contacted in order to use The Benefit Bank® online service, and not consenting has no effect on your eligibility, application status, or services you receive through us.
We have taken a variety of steps to keep your information private, including but not limited to the following:
No security system can be guaranteed to be completely effective. However, we believe that the protections we have in place to protect your data are appropriate for the personal nature of the data.
Communally obeys all laws that apply to it. This would include responding to a subpoena, court order, search warrant, or other legal process to disclose information you have provided us.