Credit Unions Helping Return Millions to NC Taxpayers Through VITA Program

Credit unions are known for offering lower-cost financial services in the marketplace – but their value to consumers and the ecomony isn’t limited to deposit rates and loan products. Many credit unions work in their communities to help hard-working people get ahead in life.

One such community project is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, administered in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. The VITA program allows qualifying taxpayers (Less than $40,000 in household income, or $20,000 income for single filers) to have their taxes done free of charge. (The free tax preparation is available to everyone, member & non-member alike.)

The gem in the VITA program is the assistance that families get in receiving child tax credits and earned income tax credits. These credits enjoy wide bi-partisan support in Washington, and for good reason: they return money to people who need it, helping them to in-turn escape poverty.

State Employees’ CU and Local Government FCU have partnered with the IRS to offer VITA services to qualified NC residents in all 216 of their branches. The result so far in the tax filing season, with two months to go – more than $6-million in tax credits returned to taxpayers, and an estimated $700,000 in savings on tax preparation fees!

In the video, Deanna Yates of SECU received benefit from these tax credits after a tough 2007. A young married mother, Deanna lost her job last year and the family had to dip into their savings. This was a real setback, since their savings fund was being built up for a down payment on a house.

Deanna’s working again, and with the tax credits coming her way through VITA tax preparation, the family has put money back in their credit union savings account. Their home ownership dreams are again getting closer to being fulfilled.

Kudos as well to Truliant FCU (also detailed in the video), Duke University FCU and the NC Press Association FCU for also participating in VITA. (Edit to add that Carolina FCU in Cherryville is also offering VITA.) It’s a great program, and hopefully more credit unions will look into it in future years.       

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2 Responses

  1. Bravo, SECU and Truliant! It’s always neat to see a CU do something simply because it’s the right thing to do.

    Great video!

  2. @CU Warrior – it is great work that speaks volumes to these credit unions commitment to helping people. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

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