SECU Tax Preparation Program Helps Members
The State Employees' Credit Union (SECU) just completed its fourth year of assisting members with tax preparation services with "remarkable results," it said in a news release.
SECU helped almost 53,000 members claim more than $82 million in refunds while saving them about $7.9 million in tax preparation fees, the release said. Through its participation in the IRS free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, the Credit Union increased the number of members helped by more than 35 percent to nearly 48,000, up from 35,000 in 2010.
In only its second year of offering a low-cost tax preparation service for members who fall above the income threshold for VITA, SECU more than doubled the number assisted, increasing to almost 5,000 from the 2,100 figure of last season, the news release said.
A main focus of SECU's tax preparation services is to ensure that participating members benefit from all tax credits for which they qualify - credits that often go unclaimed by those eligible, such as the earned income tax credit (EITC). This season, SECU helped members claim more than $35 million in tax credits, including $20.8 million in EITCs.
"By offering free tax preparation to qualifying members through VITA and complementing that program with SECU's low-cost tax preparation option, we are making a tremendous financial difference for many members at a time when they need it most," said Tenesha Carter, SECU's senior vice president of tax preparation services. "As the North Carolina economy continues to struggle, it is imperative that SECU, as a trusted financial adviser, does what it can to keep more money in the pockets of our members. It is very rewarding to see just how much this program is helping the citizens of our state."
Roger D. Burton, territory manager for IRS stakeholder partnerships, education and communication, said, "The SECU VITA partnership with the Internal Revenue Service has been extremely beneficial to North Carolinians, as seen in the numbers of those helped by SECU branch personnel in 2011 and overall in the last four years. Having an additional 237 VITA sites through SECU's statewide branch network is a critical element in making sure everyone who qualifies for free tax preparation is aware of VITA and can get the help they need."
SECU is a nonprofit financial cooperative owned by its more than 1.6 million members. SECU has been providing the employees of the state of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for more than 70 years.
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